Electric Vehicles in Australia.

Australia, along with the rest of the world is transitioning into a cleaner and sustainable mode of transportation. The sale of petrol and diesel cars will be banned all over Europe by 2040. All the major car manufacturers have announced plans to move away from petrol and diesel vehicles. Half of all cars sold worldwide will be electric or hybrid-electric by 2030.

Australia now imports all passenger cars. The Australian passenger car fleet will transition to electric as manufacturers replace petrol and diesel models with electric models. The transition to electric vehicles will happen with or without government subsidies. It will be difficult to purchase new petrol or diesel-electric car in Australia after 2030.

EV Infrastructure Consulting

EV Infrastructure is a new area of knowledge for majority of our potential clients. A comprehensive knowledge on the technical aspects is required to attain the best solution for the EV infrastructure project. Our team has experienced a deviation between best product & service for the client’s need and the specifications they propose during procurement.

Charge Star provides consulting services for domestic and commercial EV Infrastructure project with an aim to provide custom tailored solution for the client’s need, reduce needless expenses and provide information for informed decision making.

Electrical Consulting

Electrical Infrastructure plays a major role in roll-out of charging station. The EV charging infrastructure needs to match the electrical infrastructure in the client’s property. In majority of our projects, especially with pre-existing building our team has found Electrical Infrastructure as the bottleneck in the project.

Charge Star provide electrical consulting in relation to the EV charging station and overall energy consumption in the building. Highly experienced and fully licensed personnel provide consulting service to ensure complete information and competitive approach.

Future Trends

The transition to electric cars will take place over the next 10 years whether or not State and Federal governments provide any financial assistance. Subsides will simply speed up the adoption rate. The question for the Government is would the money spent on subsidizing electric cars be better spent on other electric vehicle transport initiatives such as increasing the capacity of the electricity grid to cope with the power demands of electric cars?

Most new electric cars will have a range of 300 km or more at freeway speeds. Range ceases to become an issue for consumers at 300 km. Most consumers can complete their daily drive in less than 300 km. However, price is still an issue. The Renault Zoe electric car costs $50,000 and is roughly the same size as the petrol Renault Cleo which costs $20,000. We expect price parity between reasonably priced petrol and electric cars by 2026 or possible earlier once production of electric ramps up and economies of scale kick in. Top of the range electric cars such as the Telsa Model S, Model 3 and the Jaguar i-Pace are already approaching price parity with premium petrol and diesel cars. The tipping point for the mass adoption of electric cars will be a $30,000 electric car with a 300 km range
Ninety percent of all charging will be at home. Commercial charging station networks will have difficulty competing with home charging as consumers will opt for the convenience of charging at home at cheap overnight rates and/or using cheap power self-generated by solar PV and home battery systems or subsidised by a solar feed in tariff.

There will be a limited market for freeway and destination charging stations to enable electric vehicles to travel long distances. In our opinion, Federal and State governments do not have to spend copious amounts of money subsidising the roll-out of large numbers of public charging stations when most charging will take place at home or at work. Furthermore, the fuel distribution companies already have plans in place to install DC fast charging stations at selected petrol service stations.
The average length of a car journey in Australia is 50 km. An electric car will use approximately 10 kWh to travel 50 km at freeway speeds.

The average daily electricity consumption of a house in Perth is 18 kWh per day. The replacement of a fossil fuel car by an electric car will add 10 kWh to daily consumption. A household with two electric cars will double its daily consumption. In theory a house with no solar and two electric cars could increase its daily consumption from 18 kWh per day to 38 kWh per day.

The existing electricity grids are not sized to cater for a doubling of electricity demand in the suburbs and will require considerable investment from the Government to enable the transition to electric vehicles. Extra grid capacity will be required even if drivers are incentivised to charge at night by the provision of cheap overnight rates.
The current regulations governing the maximum allowable power supply for domestic houses and apartments are insufficient to allow reasonably fast charging of electric vehicles.

For example, residential houses in WA on a single-phase connection are limited to a 14-kW power supply. An electric car needs at least a 7-kW power supply to charge reasonably quickly. Two electric cars will need a 14-kW power supply. A two-car household will not have sufficient power to charge two electric cars and switch on any other electric device in the house. Do I charge my car or run the aircon?

The average two-bedroom apartment uses 2 kWh per day. An apartment owner who buys an electric car will increase their consumption by factor of 5. The grid connections in most apartment blocks are undersized for electric vehicle car charging and will need to be enhanced.
Strata’s and body corporates need a mechanism to charge apartment owners for power consumed in common area car parks. Payment systems like Charge Star allow strata’s and body corporates to meter and bill for power. Lack of payment systems for common area car parks is no longer an obstacle to the adoption of electric vehicles.
Local authorities must examine charging solutions for electric vehicle owners in terraced houses with no off-street parking. One option may be to use existing infrastructure such as power poles and street lighting poles as mount points for charging stations.
There will be seismic shift in the fuel distribution network in Australia. Electricity retailers will replace the fuel retailers. Hello Origin. Goodbye Caltex.

Companies like Viva Energy (Shell), Puma, Vibe, Caltex and BP will be wiped out as their market disappears. Fuel retailers will have difficulty competing with the convenience and cost of cheap home charging even if they install DC charging stations in local service stations. Most local service stations will disappear

On average, electric cars are twice the price of petrol cars. Fuel savings are not sufficient to recoup the cost of the additional capital required to purchase electric cars particularly if the fleet rotation period is two to three years.

Direct comparisons between electric vehicle markets in Europe and Australia are not appropriate as petrol in Europe is 2 to 3 times the cost of petrol in Australia. Hence, the cost of running a petrol car in Australia is much cheaper. The Government would need to increase the price of petrol in Australia to $2.50 per litre in order to make electric cars more competitive with petrol cars.

The only cars that could conceivably be considered within the budget of most fleet managers are the Hyundai Ionic, Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe. All of these cars retail at around $50,000 drive away which is more than twice the cost of an equivalent petrol car. Electric vehicle sales will struggle until the price differential between electric cars and petrol/diesel cars is <= 10%. The industry expects price parity with petrol cars and soft roader SUVs by 2025. 

The existing benefits for business are indirect; a lower carbon footprint and a cleaner environment.

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