Your guide to EVs

By Sandra Zablotna - Sunday 23 June 2024

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Electic Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia offer cost savings and environmental benefits. They're cheaper to run, have lower maintenance costs, and benefit from government incentives. EVs support Australia's net zero emissions goal by 2050 with renewable energy. They offer impressive performance, advanced technology, potential tax advantages, and expanding charging infrastructure, making them increasingly appealing despite higher upfront costs and developing charger networks.

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See our short guide on EVs to understand them better.

Types of Electric Vehicles

Hybrid - Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

Description: Hybrids are the most common type of electrified vehicle. They combine a traditional petrol engine with a battery and electric motor to improve fuel efficiency. The battery is charged through driving and doesn’t require plugging in.

HEV on mymoto: Kia

Plug-in - Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Description: Similar to hybrids, PHEVs feature a petrol engine working alongside an electric motor. However, PHEVs have a larger battery that allows for 40 to 100 km of electric-only driving. The battery needs to be plugged in to recharge.

PHEV on mymoto: Mitsubishi, Kia,

EV - Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)

Description: BEVs are fully electric vehicles with a large battery that powers one or more electric motors. They can have driving ranges from 250 to 600 km and require charging at home or public stations.

BEV on mymoto: Tesla., MG, Audi, Nissan,

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Battery

  • kW (Kilowatt): Indicates the output of an electric motor, with higher values representing more powerful vehicles.
  • kWh (Kilowatt hour): Measures battery capacity, where 1 kWh typically equals 5 to 6 km of range.
  • Testing Protocols (NEDC, WLTP, EPA): These acronyms represent the standards for testing vehicle range and emissions. WLTP (World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) is commonly used for real-world accuracy.

Charging

  • Level 1 Charging: Uses a standard household outlet, the slowest charging method, taking over 24 hours for a full charge, depending on battery size.
  • Level 2 Charging: Uses a dedicated 240V outlet, typically wired into the home's switchboard, and is 5 to 6 times faster than Level 1.
  • Level 3 Charging (DC Charging): The fastest charging method, found at public high-speed charging stations.
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Plugs

  • Type 1 (J1772): This plug, features five pins and a clip. Type 1 is typically used for home charging and is not compatible with DC fast charging.
  • Type 2 (IEC62196 or Mennekes): Type 2, has seven pins with one flat edge. Type 2 is becoming the standard plug type in Australia and is versatile for home and public charging.
  • CHAdeMO: Used for DC fast charging, notably by Nissan and Mitsubishi. It's designed to charge an electric vehicle quickly, resembling a teatime break.
  • CCS (Combined Charging System): CCS allows for higher wattage acceptance compared to Type 2. CCS is favoured by European and North American electric vehicle brands for its capability in fast charging scenarios.

Advantages and Disadvantages of EVs

Just like any other type of car, EVs have their advantages and disadvantages. See the breakdown here:

Advantages:

Cost-Effective:

  • Lower Running Costs: Electricity is generally cheaper than gasoline, and EVs require less maintenance. You can expect significant savings on fuel and servicing over time.
  • Government Incentives: While some state rebates have ended, there are still incentives to make EVs more affordable upfront.

Environmentally Friendly:

  • Zero Tailpipe Emissions: EVs contribute to cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, helping Australia reach its net-zero goals.
  • Works Well with Renewables: As Australia invests in renewable energy sources like solar, EVs become even more environmentally friendly.

Technology and Performance:

  • Smooth and Quiet Ride: EVs offer a comfortable driving experience with instant torque and quiet operation.
  • Packed with Tech: Many EVs boast advanced features that appeal to tech-savvy drivers

Additional Benefits:

  • Tax Breaks: Lower emissions can mean tax breaks or toll exemptions in some areas.
  • Charging at Work/Businesses: More workplaces and businesses are installing charging stations, making it convenient to top up during the day.
  • Stylish Options: With a wider range of models available, there's likely an EV to suit most tastes.

Disadvantages:

  • Upfront Cost: EVs generally have a higher initial purchase price compared to traditional gasoline cars.
  • Charging Infrastructure: While growing, the charging network for EVs is not as extensive as gas stations.
  • Range Limitations: EVs have a shorter driving range on a single charge compared to a full gas tank. While this is improving with battery technology, it's something to consider for long journeys.
  • Charging Time: Recharging an EV battery takes longer than filling a gas tank.
  • Battery Degradation: Over time, EV batteries lose some capacity, potentially reducing your driving range. However, advancements in battery technology are addressing this issue.

Can I go on a road trip with an EV?

Road tripping with an EV in Australia is feasible but requires careful planning. With around 400 km on a full charge, EVs suit urban trips, but longer journeys need charging stops, especially in remote areas. Driving habits, weather, and vehicle choice are crucial. As technology and charging networks improve, longer EV trips will become more practical.

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