Electric Cars: a practical choice in Australia?

This poor car copped hail damage during the Brisbane storms, along with thousands of other cars.

This poor Nissan Leaf electric car copped hail damage during the Brisbane storms, along with thousands of other cars.

 I’ve become quite intrigued by the new generation of electric cars that have appeared over the last few years, and although only a small number have been sold in Australia, internationally they are becoming more popular.  During late 2014, two exciting, but pricy, new models arrived in Australia – the BMW i3 and the Tesla Model S.

At my place, we’ve decided that 2015 may be the year to buy an electric car.  We want to test drive a Nissan Leaf, but the only test vehicle in Brisbane suffered hail damage in the Brisbane storms, and is awaiting repairs.  So in the meantime, I’ve been doing my research, and found some great real-life owners’ experiences at the OzLeaf forum.  Last year the Nissan Leaf sold 60 000+ models around the world, with half of those being in the US, making it the world’s best selling electric car.

Many people will scoff at a car that can only do 120km or so without needing a recharge, but for many Australians, they could be quite practical.  In my house, it will be a second vehicle, so will only be used for local travel, at least until a fast charger network is available.  I’ll be expecting to re-charge at night in my carport, and that should be enough for my daily driving.  I expect to save quite a bit on petrol, particularly through accessing off-peak electricity.  I’ll keep that electricity green by buying C3 certified GreenPower.  Driving 15 000 km a year, the Australian average, the “fuel” running costs should come in at least $1300 cheaper.

Electric cars won’t suit every household and business, but it might be worth considering.  It may seem a strange idea to need to recharge a vehicle, but thirty years ago we would have thought it odd to recharge a phone, and everyone has got used to that just fine.

About EmpowerRepower

I’m a teacher, former teacher-librarian, ex-volunteer breastfeeding counsellor and mother-of-three living on the Sunshine Coast. I’m concerned about climate change, and feel that the necessary changes to prevent the worst outcomes will rely on action from all sectors of our economy. I’ll be trying to share, promote and encourage that action by finding positive examples in our local community.
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