Advantages of electric cars: Here’s why your next car could be an EV
Across the world, a growing number of electric car drivers are now enjoying the advantages of electric cars. These advantages vary across the world, with some countries and jurisdictions offering a greater range of different models of EVs, incentives or electric car rebates and extensive charging station infrastructure.
As the electric vehicle industry grows here in Australia, it’s the perfect time to explore the potential benefits of electric cars compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. These can include less car maintenance, lower emissions and high performance models some of which have five-star EV safety ratings.
More Australian drivers are enjoying the advantages of electric cars
In Australia, as of October 2022 EVs represent 3.39% of all new vehicle sales, which marks a 65% increase from 2021, according to the Electric Vehicle Council's State of EVs 2022 Report.
Most drivers across Australia are still driving cars with internal-combustion engines – also known as ICE vehicles – which have been the standard mode of transportation for more than 100 years. Today electric cars have potential benefits and the uptake in Australia is steadily increasing.
EV advantage: Investment in DER
Distributed Energy Resources, or DER, are smaller-scale devices that can either use, generate or store electricity. A common example of DER in Australia is solar power. More than 21% of Australian homes have installed solar panels and are generating electricity using renewable energy on their rooftops.
EVs, including fully electric models (such as battery electric vehicles) and hybrid electric vehicles (including plug in hybrid electric vehicles) are another example of DER. Many people who have been adopting more environmentally friendly technology such as solar panels and home battery systems are also investing in electric vehicles. They might aim to power more of their lives with renewable energy.
If you have solar panels, you can power your in-home appliances using the electricity your panels generated during the day – and if you have an electric vehicle, you may be able to take this a little further and use solar energy to charge your EV too.
Transport is Australia’s largest single source of emissions, so it’s exciting to think of a future with passenger vehicles powered by renewable energy such as solar power.
EV advantage: Less air pollution
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has forecast an EV market share of 60% by 2046. These figures predict a huge shift in consumer behaviour, which has been estimated could result in a potential reduction of 18 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent to taking eight million petrol cars off the road.
Many electric car drivers would like to use renewable energy to charge their vehicle but for now charging power still involves fossil fuels (charging overnight is popular). This means electric cars produce some greenhouse gas emissions, but according to modelling completed by the NRMA and PwC Australia, an average new ICE vehicle emits around 185 gCO2/km compared to an average new EV, which emits around 98 gCO2/km when charged via the electricity grid. As renewable energy sources such as rooftop solar are starting to represent a greater part of the electricity mix and as battery capacity improves with new EV models, EV emissions are estimated to fall to 58 gCO2/km.
It’s estimated that 10% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced by light vehicles, including cars, four-wheel drives, SUVs and small commercial vehicles under 3.5 tonnes. More Australian drivers embracing electric vehicles could help to reduce Australia’s carbon footprint.
Electric car emissions in a fully electric vehicle are zero in terms of tailpipe CO2 emissions, since there’s no internal combustion engine involved at all. On that note, let’s take a look at electric car maintenance.
EV advantage: Less maintenance
In general, EVs can be cheaper to maintain than petrol cars since they have less moving parts. This means they generally need far less attention in terms of servicing. Unlike an internal combustion engine in petrol and diesel cars, battery electric vehicles don’t need oil changes and other engine mechanical repairs.
Electric car maintenance generally involves keeping an eye on brake pads, tyres and suspension checks. If you are planning to hold onto your EV, you will also need to factor in whether or not you will need to replace the battery, however most batteries have an eight year warranty and are generally estimated to last between 10 and 20 years. Investing in an electric car could help you to save on vehicle maintenance and servicing costs over time.
EV advantage: Lower fuel expenses
If you’re sick of monitoring fuel prices throughout the week, you might be interested to know that in general it currently costs far less for an EV driver to charge their car than for a petrol driver to fill up their vehicle in Western Australia .
There are plenty of charging stations available in public spaces across Perth and WA with more opening up every year, including as part of the WA EV Network, so it’s getting easier to recharge along the way on long-distance trips.
Charging your EV could cost you even less if you can use the electricity your rooftop solar system generates during the day to charge your EV. If you have or buy an electric vehicle, you could even be eligible for one of our Synergy electricity plans designed for EV drivers, such as our Synergy EV Add On plan.
Even if you choose to invest in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, otherwise known as a PHEV, you can likely get away with using just the battery motor for most of your daily driving requirements, and only relying on the back-up petrol motor for longer trips. Most PHEVs available on the market have a battery range of between 50-100kms, which is more than enough for most people’s daily driving needs, to and from work or the shops. This could help you to save money as you are buying less petrol, plus the battery of a PHEV is often small enough to recharge relatively quickly enabling you to get back on the road sooner.
EV advantage: Smooth driving experience and performance
Ask any electric car drivers you know and they’ll probably tell you that the EV driving experience simply can’t be beaten when it comes to comfort and control. They will probably say they enjoy minimal noise, no petrol and diesel fumes and a smooth driving experience.
There’s a growing number of EV models available in Australia with high EV safety ratings.
While petrol and diesel motoring enthusiasts might love a sporty induction or exhaust note, electric vehicles can deliver instant torque from any speed, which wins many drivers over.
EV advantages for the wider community
When you’re exploring the potential environmentally-friendly benefits of EVs, you might look into greenhouse gas emissions and ethical mining – which can have benefits for the wider community too. Here’s how:
- Internal combustion engine cars produce tailpipe emissions which include unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are all known carcinogens.
- EVs are not entirely free from fossil fuels in their production or when charged using electricity generated by fossil fuels, but fully electric vehicles don’t emit all of the carcinogens that petrol and diesel vehicles emit. This can mean air quality is impacted less by an EV.
There are also a growing number of online communities and tools to support EV drivers and help them to learn more about how they could enjoy the potential benefits of electric cars.
If you are considering investing in an electric vehicle and want to learn more, read up on all the fast facts about electric cars and have your questions answered.