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Electric Vehicles: Five Common Myths Debunked

By Nicola Saltman, Waverley Senior Sustainability Officer on July 31, 2019 in Other

EV enthusiast Osher Günsberg charging his EV at Bondi Beach.

There’s plenty of hype about electric vehicles (EVs); understandably, since we’re on the brink of a motoring transformation in Australia, with more models hitting our streets and EVs gaining popularity.
Recent surveys indicate that more than 75 per cent of locals would consider buying one. Drivers are wanting smarter, quieter, faster, less-polluting, cheaper-to-run cars that they can charge at home. With this transport ‘revolution’ on our doorstep, let’s tackle the main myths surrounding EVs.

1. EVs are expensive
True, EVs cost more than petrol cars to buy. Current prices range from $44.9k to over $100k, but costs are falling, with predictions that they’ll be cheaper than gas guzzlers by 2025. It’s when you factor in running costs that EVs come out on top. EVs cost 70 per cent less per kilometre to power than petrol cars, saving you $1600 on annual fuel costs, and because EVs have fewer moving parts, you’ll also save on maintenance costs.

2. They’re a passing fad
The EV industry is booming. Every major car manufacturer has skin in the game. Current projections indicate electric vehicles will account for 57 per cent of new car sales by 2040, and Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs are tipped to be a hotspot. We can expect a major shift this year with more affordable cars available: the Tesla 3, Hyundai Kona and Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and more. For utes and work cars, expect to see fast and tough models in the next few years. Unfortunately, we are way behind the rest of the world, with high proportions of EV ownership already in many Asian and European countries.

3. You’ll run out of charge
Until recently, range – i.e. how far can you drive without running out of charge – was one of the biggest issues with EVs. However, you can now buy cars that can drive 230 to 500 kilometres on a single charge. Since city drivers generally have a 40 kilometre return commute, you’ll only need to charge two to three times per week, or less if you leave the car at home or commute by public transport.

4. There’s nowhere to charge
While 90 per cent of people will charge their car at home, we still need public charging. Luckily, you can now charge locally at on-street public charging stations provided by Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra Councils. You can park and power up while surfing at Bondi beach, watching the footy at Coogee Oval or shopping at Double Bay or Randwick – sure beats an inconvenient trip to the petrol station.
Elsewhere, charging stations are springing up in shopping centres, community venues and along highways all over Australia. Check the app for all available charging points.

5. They aren’t really that good for the environment
The transport sector is responsible for almost one quarter of the Eastern Suburbs’ total greenhouse gas pollution, and cars are the main cause of Sydney’s pollution. Even when grid-powered, EVs emit 22 per cent less emissions than petrol cars. EVs offer an alternative pathway, one that can be powered by renewables and reduce emissions and air pollution. EVs are also blissfully noise-free! It’s a win-win.

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