porsche taycan 1
porsche taycan 1

Electric vehicles — myth versus reality

Riley Riley

EVC has endorsed the Global MOU on Zero-Emission Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles.

It supports an accelerating path to 100 per cent zero-emission bus and truck sales by 2040 to help create greater awareness of and movement toward addressing the climate crisis through transport.

You can even compare the cost of the car you have now to that of an electric vehicle with the EVC’s EV Costs Calculator.

This tool, built by Evenergi and funded by Australian Renewable Energy Agency, will give you a basic understanding of EV cost of ownership savings.

It provides an understanding of the comparative costs of owning an electric vehicle in Australia, with and without batteries and solar.

See here.

Nissan LEAF.


MYTH 1: Not enough driving range

Today’s EVs have enough battery range to meet the average Australian’s driving needs for over a week.

Current EVs have an average battery range of 480km but the technology is advancing so rapidly that new models can drive for almost 550km on a single charge.

The average Australian drives 38km per day so an EV owner can go for at least 10 days without a recharge.

Unlike petrol cars, you can recharge at home or anywhere with access to electricity.

Tesla Model 3 Performance.


MYTH 2: Charging takes too long

Charging times are falling quickly as technology advances.

Residential chargers are able to fully charge EVs in around six to eight hours, depending on the vehicle’s capacity.

This means you can easily charge your car overnight.

Public fast chargers are able to get you back on the road much faster.

Leave your car at a charger while you go shopping or to work and in three hours, it’ll be fully charged.

Ultra-rapid chargers can add 300km of range in 10 minutes.

The average Australian drives 38km per day so an EV owner can go for at least 10 days without a recharge.

Unlike petrol cars, you can recharge at home or anywhere with access to electricity.

2022 MG ZS EV 6
MG ZS EV . . . strong showing.


MYTH 3: There’s nowhere to charge EVs

While 80 per cent of EV drivers globally charge their EV at home, there is still a need for public charging infrastructure.

An ever-expanding network of public charging infrastructure is being installed across Australia.

Private companies have been building networks along highways, and both federal and state governments are now investing too.

Local councils are supporting local communities to make the change by installing chargers in local public areas, and it is increasingly common to see EV chargers in shopping centres.

In 2018, Sylvia Wilson was able to drive 20,000km around Australia’s entire perimeter in her Tesla.

Hundreds of chargers have been added since then.

If you check out the charger map on our website, you can get an idea of coverage.

And that coverage is only going to keep getting better as uptake increases and more charging stations are rolled out.

Ultimately, you could charge an EV in a regular home power socket.

BYD Atto 3.


MYTH 4: Expensive to buy

The upfront costs of EVs are currently more expensive than conventional vehicles, however powering your EV is much cheaper – about 70 per cent cheaper per kilometre in fact.

That means the average EV driver saves $1600 on fuel costs each year.

There are also lots of new mid-range EVs available in Australia this year.

These include the MG ZS EV ($43,990), Hyundai Ioniq ($48,970), and Nissan Leaf ($49,990).

EVs are only going to become more affordable with time.

According to Bloomberg, falling battery prices mean that the total ownership costs of EVs is already the same as conventional vehicles and that upfront costs will be cheaper by 2025.

As competition, investment, and innovation increase, the costs of EVs will continue to fall while conventional vehicle prices stay the same.

BMW i3 twin.


MYTH 5: Expensive to run

EVs have lower running costs than internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs).

Fewer moving parts mean that EVs require less maintenance.

With an EV you don’t need to replace filters and spark plugs, change oil, or repair the transmission, head gasket or engine.

In 2018, maintenance and servicing savings of an EV were estimated at $300-400AUD/year.

Contrary to a popular myth EV batteries last as long as the lifetime of your car.

Battery costs are continually falling.

With current forecasts: today a 40kW battery (for example like that in a Nissan Leaf) would cost around $US 8000 to replace, but in 2030, the same battery is expected to cost $US 2800.

Most vehicle manufacturers offer a 10-year or 160,000km warranty on batteries.

Another massive saving from EV ownership is fuel.

Battery EVs don’t need any petrol or diesel and are charged with electricity.

The average Australian drives 15,000km and spends around $2160 on petrol per year ($0.14/km).

An EV travelling 15,000km would cost around $600 per year ($0.04/km) in electricity costs.

If an EV user has a solar panel, charging is free!

Mercedes Benz EQS 10
Mercedes-Benz EQS.


MYTH 6: EVs are inferior performers

Unlike conventional vehicles, EVs deliver full torque instantly, meaning they can accelerate much faster than equivalent combustion engine vehicles.

EVs also often have their batteries placed along the bottom of the vehicle, lowering the centre of gravity and providing better handling and cornering.

2023 Audi e tron GT 2
Audi e-tron GT.


MYTH 7: EVs are a passing fad

Around the world, the EV industry is booming. In 2015, one million EVs were sold worldwide.

In August 2018, four million EVs had been sold, with one million of these purchased in the previous six months alone.

In Norway, 50 per cent of all new cars sold in 2018 were EVs.

In the same year, EVs accounted for five per cent of all new cars sold in China and seven per cent of all new cars sold in California.

In the US, EV sales surged by 81 per cent between 2017 and 2018.

Uptake in Europe is expected to increase sharply in the coming years due to the EU’s combined EV target which is equivalent to around eight to nine million EVs on the road by 2020.

Australia is lagging because of a lack of EV policy leadership from governments, but 2017 sales were still 67 per cent higher than 2016.

As more and more lower cost EV models come on the market and hundreds of new chargers are built across the country, EV sales will likely continue to grow.

Volvo C40 and XC40 Recharge.


MYTH 8: Just as bad for the environment

Battery EVs have zero exhaust emissions, so that alone makes them better for the environment than an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV).

Research shows that even if an EV is charged by coal-fired electricity, it still generates lower net emissions that ICEVs.

As grids become cleaner, EVs become cleaner too. It is an unavoidable truth that the only way for Australian states to reach their net zero emission targets is with electric vehicles.

Additionally, EV batteries can be used well after their EV end-of-life.

Once a battery reaches 70 per cent capacity, it is no longer fit for use in a vehicle.

However, vehicle manufacturers and private companies are leading the charge in battery recycling and re-purposing, ensuring that zero emissions vehicles really have a low impact to the environment.

Genesis GV60 Performance 1
Genesis GV60.


MYTH 9: Batteries are dangerous and costly

Driving a vehicle with a battery is no more dangerous than driving a traditional Internal Combustion Engine vehicle (ICEV). In fact, evidence suggests that lithium-ion batteries used in EVs are in fact as safe or even safer than conventional fuel.

There are numerous studies that show that fires in EVs are no more likely or even less likely to occur than fires in ICEVs.

In Australia, Fire and Rescue organisations do not treat EVs as any more dangerous than ICEVs.

Ford Mustang Mach E 3
Ford Mustang Mach-E.


MYTH 10: EVs will cause blackouts

Managed correctly, EVs can increase the reliability of the grid, while reducing the unit price of electricity for everyone, even those who don’t drive an EV.

New EV models are now enabling battery discharging, which means that during times of peak demand EVs can put electricity back into the household or grid.

This would actually reduce the chance of blackouts by flattening peak demand.

The Electric Vehicle Council is already working with grid operators and energy companies to avoid the potential pitfalls of increasing electricity demand and instead harness the benefits of this new technology.

Tesla charging
Teslas charging.

CHECKOUT: Poll finds Aussies want Govt support for EVs




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