Remember how the old cell phone was largely replaced by the smart phone in one replacement cycle? Remember how film cameras gave way to digital cameras over a couple of years?
The recent announcement of a $20,000 Australian-made small hatchback EV by 2020 suggests that the motor and motor-finance industry may be on the cusp of the great disruption that sustainable transport experts have been predicting, similar to the famous “Kodak-Moment”.
If such a vehicle were to be available in Australia, whether it is from Uniti or another manufacturer such as Sanjeev Gupta (and it will happen), what could the consequences be?
Firstly, it would economically irrational to buy an equivalently-sized petrol vehicle as the EV would have a lower cost of ownership per km.
Modelling, using my company’s EV-Business-Case Tool (shameless plug – pun intended), reveals that a $20,000 EV would be much cheaper to operate than a petrol or diesel vehicle. This is based on a Total Cost of Ownership view of the vehicle which factors in resale value, fuel and other operating costs.
Bede Doherty is an independent consultant in climate change mitigation, specialising in transport including fuels/powertrains, fuelling infrastructure and emissions.