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We provide journalists with information on developments in the global electric vehicle industry, projects relating to the latest new and emerging technologies and information on the economic and environmental benefits of EVs.
For media enquiries or comments, please contact our CEO, Behyad Jafari
As the CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council, Behyad Jafari works with industry, government and the media to accelerate the electrification of road transport, for a more sustainable and prosperous Australia.
With experience advising politicians, businesses and non-profits, Behyad has a strong understanding of Australia’s political, corporate and media landscape.
Australians are becoming more and more aware of the benefits EVs can bring and this is driving an upward trend in sales.
Increasing model availability, decreasing vehicle cost, and growing awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of EVs are changing the way people think about their transport options.
Manufacturers are bringing more EVs to Australia as they wind down production of petrol and diesel vehicles. The price of EVs is expected to drop as innovation continues.
It’s expected that Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) will reach cost parity with Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicles by 2025. At which point, why wouldn’t you buy electric?
The second-hand market is set to develop along with the new purchase market, meaning EVs will become affordable for all Australians.
Australia is lagging most comparable developed nations in terms of EV take up, primarily because of a lack of governmental support.
The jurisdictions that are leading the world, like California and Norway, have incentives that support early adoption. Australia needs similar incentives.
These could be financial incentives to help bridge the current gap between the cost of an EV and an ICE. Such benefits include tax rebates, infrastructure subsidies, stamp duty exemptions, and registration discounts. Non-financial incentives, such as access to bus lanes and parking, could also help.
These incentives would encourage manufacturers to bring more BEVS and PHEVS to the Australian market. The more vehicles they bring, the more choice people have.
Governments can accelerate this adoption by committing to fleet transitions. Currently, the ACT and Queensland Governments have strong policies in place.
Australia could consider following the lead of countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, India, and China, which have committed to banning petrol and diesel vehicles by a set year.
By comparison, Australia’s lack of mandatory fuel efficiency standards means we end up as the dumping ground for vehicles that don’t meet international regulations.
New electric vehicles under $50,000 have a range capacity of 480 kilometres, more expensive vehicles go further. The average Australian drives <50km a day and most EV charging will be done at home, so range anxiety should not be a problem for most. An EV would not need to be charged every day for most, and for some households, one charge a week would be enough.
As manufacturers continue to invest in battery technology, driving ranges of EVs will continue to increase.
Governments have started to recognise the need to provide funding for chargers in regional locations to ensure drivers can confidently travel long distances across Australia.
The Queensland Government funded the installation of fast EV chargers between Coolangatta and Cairns and between Brisbane and Toowoomba to create an Electric Super Highway.
Australian start-up Chargefox secured $15million this year to build Australia’s largest ultra-rapid network, which included funding from the Australian Government through ARENA ($6 million) and the Victorian Government ($1 million).
The Victorian Government has committed another $2 million to support the rollout of more charging stations across the state, while the NSW Government has also committed $5 million to co-invest in new charging stations in NSW.
As more people need chargers, private investment will supply them. However, first we need initial matched investment to get the ball rolling. Once the market arrives, the private sector will take over.
According to a poll by the Australia Institute, the majority of Australians support for governments to procure electric vehicle fleets (76%) and providing loans for electric vehicle uptake (55%).
Electric vehicles are the future and Australians tend to be ahead of their governments in recognising global trends. With so many vehicle manufacturers phasing out the development of internal combustion engines in favour of electric vehicles, why wouldn’t Australians look to them?
The average cost saving estimates from driving an electric vehicle sit at $1913/year.
The average Australian spends $2,160 on fuel a year to drive 15,000km. That works out to $0.14 per kilometre. But an electric vehicle can be charged for $600/year, reducing the cost to just $0.04 per kilometres. That’s at today’s electricity prices .
Further savings come from maintenance – fewer moving parts means fewer things can go wrong, meaning drivers spend less on their vehicles. Maintenance and servicing savings are estimated at $300-400 a year. That’s a saving of approximately $2,400 per year.
Health is a benefit often overlooked. Some 1,715 Australians die each year from transport air pollution-related causes. This number could be reduced greatly by moving to low/zero emissions vehicles. Similarly, stress from noise pollution will decrease, as electric vehicles are quieter than ICEs- especially when sitting idly.
Lower carbon emissions mean lower greenhouse gas production, and many public chargers are powered by renewable energy. A transition to an EV fleet would help Australia to meet our global commitments, as transport is our second highest source of emissions.
Charging at home is more convenient than refilling a fuel tank, so the individual can save time.
EVs can be controlled through apps, regulating the car’s inside temperature before you go anywhere near the vehicle.
Leaving the car running doesn’t emit the dangerous carbon monoxide fumes that ICEs do.
On a national level, fuel security would be a thing of the past as our reliance on oil imports decreases. Australia spends approximately $16 billion a year on importing fuel – money that could be put into the community.
Public transport is an important factor in using our resources like roads more efficiently and reaching zero emissions in transport. However, other options like private and shared vehicle use continue to play an important role in Australian mobility.
In 2016, 74 per cent of the working population travelled to work by car, and the electrification of these vehicles would result in a significant reduction of vehicle emissions.
Electrification of public transport is a great supplement to this and should be a major part of governments EV strategies. Trials are already underway in South Australia, the ACT, Western Australia, and New South Wales. It’s well past time for Australia to move beyond trials and transition our bus fleet to electric.
It is important we look to reduce our emissions in the shortest amount of time and that means transitioning to electric vehicles.