There seems to be so much discussion around the technology associated with electric cars at the moment that I need to bust a few myths. Apart from my thirty years in the technology industry, I bought my first hybrid fifteen years ago and I have used a total of seven electric and electric hybrid vehicles as my main vehicle in the ensuing period. In 2005 I pushed to have Dubbo City Council use hybrid vehicles and I was the first in the nation to have an electric vehicle as the official mayoral vehicle. I currently drive a Tesla.
Myth 1: Charge time. There are Tesla Superchargers and CHAdeMO and J1772 and NRMA and Chargefox and they all have different parameters but I charge at a Tesla Supercharger at a rate of 600km/hour and I pay nothing for the electricity. The V3 Tesla Supercharger will charge at 1500km/hour. My home charger will charge at a rate of 80km/hour.
Myth 2: Range. My current car has a range of 632km and new electric cars coming out have a minimum of 270km of range. The average Aussie drives less than 300km per week. Most people don't require a huge range on a daily basis. If you need to drive long distances, charging stations are typically no more than 200km apart.
Myth 3: Cost. By the end of the year there will be eight different electric cars available in Australia and prices will start below $50,000. The average internal combustion engine vehicle will use $16,000 in fuel and maintenance costs over a five-year period so when you look at the total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle, they are comparable.
Myth 4: Utes and performance. There is no logical reason a ute could not be electric. People in Australia have done their own conversions of Hilux and other utes. Given the fact a Hilux struggles to get under 10 seconds for a 0-100 time, many ute enthusiasts would be very interested to see a time of 2.6 seconds for a Tesla. Electric vehicles can have towbars and carry large loads.
Myth 5: Percentage of sales. Predicted worldwide new car sales will be 20 per cent electric by 2025 therefore 50 per cent in Australia by 2030 is eminently achievable. Across the world we have Norway; Iceland and Sweden at 49.1; 19 and 8.2 percent respectively. Even California sits at 7.8 percent despite the fact that the US is only at 2.1 per cent.
Myth 6: Overloading the electrical network. If 20 percent of new car sales were electric in the next year, that would add 0.22 percent to our electricity requirements across the grid - or 512GWh. Given we have some time before sales will ramp up, we have time to plan and accommodate this level of increase.
These are the most common myths but there are many more. Look on some EV forums and hear from EV owners. It won't take long to satisfy yourself that an EV world is the world we will end up with - not necessarily through government intervention but by simple market demand.