Newsletter for the Rotary Club of Western Endeavour - Issue No.: 1116 Issue Date: 21 Apr, 2024

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Part 2 - Electric Vehicles - Some Interesting Facts

In the second part of Lauries talk on electric vehicles, many aspects of owning them were discussed:

What does a mid-size sedan/SUV use in terms of electric power compare to other users.?  Approximately 25kwh/100kms
In comparison a typical house overall uses 19kwh/day = 76km driving distance.

Laurie showed and discussed some typical home charge set ups.

The alternatives are single phase or three phase power and that makes a difference to how quickly your vehicles charge. There’s a cost to setup which varies from $1,200 to $4,000.  The costs vary depending on what is available at your home and what needs to be changed.  The least cost assumes your meter box is a capable of handling the fuses etc and no additional changes are required.  The most expensive is if you need to re-run wiring to the home with 3 Phase and install a sub-board.
There are mobile apps for three phase chargers which remotely control power supply, allow for preset start and finish time and provide historical data.
Advantages of EVs

Laurie listed a number of advantages for owning an electric vehicle.

  • The initial capital cost is reduced as luxury car tax kicks in at a higher price for a new car.
  • Regenerative braking is used to charge the battery which reduces wear on break pads and discs.
  • There are less moving parts and electric motors require minimal maintenance and last longer. For example less oils to discard.
  • Reduction in pollution in high traffic city zones.
  • Use of grid power outside peak times for example when solar generate excess power or at night when demand is low.
  • Smoother driving experience and faster acceleration. 
  • The batteries are recycled and last about 10 to 14 years. PHEV batteries are significantly smaller hence a lower replacement cost.
  • There is a myth that the energy and sourcing of materials used for making electric car exceed benefits, however numerous studies whole of life studies have shown that even with all power used for charging is sourced from non-renewables there is a 10% environmental benefit.  This increases to 55% in the case of PHEVs and would be higher for BEVs.

DisAdvantages of EVs

  • Focusing on Western Australia, the infrastructure is limited so public charge stations are few and far between.
  • Public charge station charging costs are almost equivalent to petrol costs.  Most charge stations installed in the Perth CBD provide three phase power outlets instead of type one outlets which means that users need to carry a special converter cable with charging at single phase. Conventional vehicles take up EV parking spots in carparks in CBD making it impossible to use the charge points. You need to book ahead to ensure these are made available to your car.
  • Charge points can be damaged or not working on arrival. This is bad news if you are running out of power on a battery electric vehicle BEV.
  • It takes a long time to charge your car battery at charge points. There’s going to have to be a lot more charge points if the number of EVs increases.
  • Governments charge a fuel levy on conventional petrol and diesel. It’s likely it will bring in a charging tax to EVs using the roads.
  • Replacement battery costs on BEVs can exceed vehicle price after warranty.  PHEVs and HEVs provide a lower risk option due to the smaller battery.

Comments on greenhouse gas emissions by conventional vehicles

Light passenger and commercial vehicles make up 61% of emissions in the transport sector and 11% of total emissions in Australia.  These emissions comprise carbon dioxide nitrogen oxide particulates volatile organic compounds and benzene.

Laurie Showed the statistics for CO2 emissions for plug in hybrid PHEV cars which are approaching 2litre per 100km.

Tailpipe Carbon dioxide emissions may be 45g/km for a PHEV a lot less compared to mid size SUV at 265g/km.
How to decide to purchase an EV

If you travel in remote areas and off the bitumen, you need a conventional petrol or diesel fuelled vehicle. That’s because there are few charging facilities to recharge your vehicle.  However, if you only travel near the city the choice is between a BEV or PHEV will work quite effectively.

Remember that a BEV requires three phase power at home or charge times will be long and could limit the vehicle use.

Will Hydrogen be the way forward for Australia?

Laurie suggests the vehicle of choice in the near future will be Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV).  These use hydrogen which reacts chemically with oxygen in air to create water, and electrons which power an electric motor and charge a small 1.5kW battery.  The hydrogen tank is much lighter (1/10 x BEV) than an EV and can be filled similar to petrol cars once the infrastructure is in place which could be at existing refuelling stations.

The cost of hydrogen is currently about twice that of petrol or diesel, and charge stations are quite expensive to install.  We should see this change in the near future.

BMW, Daimler Benz, Toyota and Hyundai are together developing the hydrogen system for trucks and light vehicles.

Try this website:  2021 Toyota Morsi FCEV review Car Advice

Author: Laurie Dender

Published: 16 June, 2021


Meeting Rosters
Thanks & Cleanup
3 minute bio
23 Apr, 24
Marcus Harris
Peter Batskos
David Fisher
Bruce Dufty
30 Apr, 24
Marcus Harris
Donna Thornton
Laurie Dender
Judy Dinnison
07 May, 24
Barrie Heald
David Fisher
John Boxall
Judy Dinnison
14 May, 24
Laurie Glossop
Judy Dinnison
28 May, 24
Marcus Harris
Laurie Dender
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