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Narrabri To Get An Electric Vehicle Charger

Electric Vehicle charging company, Fimer has just awarded Geni.Energy a new EV charger for the community!!! Fimer has installed over 50,000 of their Italian-made chargers across the world, and now they want to come to Australia - AND NARRABRI!!

We are still working out the logistics of this wonderful prize, but it was a great follow up to our webinar we held recently about Electric Vehicle Ownership in Rural Areas. If you missed the webinar, you can catch it here on our You Tube Channel.

Prominent Narrabri local, Dr Okwun Ojah is often seen driving around Narrabri in his Tesla electric car, which he has owned since 2017.

Speaking at the Geni.Energy EV webinar, Dr Ojah said “I love this car. It is beautiful, the torque is mind blowing, the software in amazing, it is cheap to run, there is no maintenance and the most incredible thing about it is - it dances! ”.

Dr Ojah is one of about 20,000 Australians to have purchased an electric vehicle (EV) since 2011. Australia has been slow on the uptake, with electric car sales accounting for only 0.7 per cent of the market in 2020. In Norway, which has long driving distances similar to Australia, electric cars account for 77 percent of all new car purchases.

With an increase in the number of charging stations across the country, more models on the market, and incentives being offered by State governments, sales in Australia are now starting to forge ahead. More EVs were sold in the first six months of 2021 than in all of 2020.

Major steps are being undertaken to overcome the hurdles to EV sales in Australia. Last year, the NRMA announced that it would roll out 80 fast charging stations, free to members, across regional NSW. Australian company JOLT recently announced plans to install 5,000 fast charging stations across the country. The first 1000 stations will be built in the next two to three years, offering the first 7 kWh of charge for free (paid for by selling advertising space on the chargers). Australia is still well behind other developed countries. China has over 800,000 public EV chargers, with 4000 per day installed in December 2020 alone.

To date there are about 3,000 charging stations spread across the country and soon Narrabri will have one too!

Just this week the NSW Parliament passed its Electric Vehicles Bill which will see more than half a billion dollars allocated to support the state's transition to EV's. They anticipate this will create a 50% increase in sales by 2030.

EV Charging comes at three levels.

· Level 1, which is single phase and plugs in the same as a household appliance. It gives 10 to 20 kilometres for each hour plugged in, which is suitable for drivers who want to top-up charge overnight at home.

· Level 2, installed at shopping centres or car parks, or at home with a “wall box” charger, which will give about 40 km per hour plugged in, plenty to get you home in most cases.

· Level 3, which are three-phase “fast chargers”, 150 km of range per hour plugged in, and “superchargers” which fully recharge most vehicles in 10 to 15 minutes.

An App can be downloaded which shows where all the charging stations are located and the level to which they can charge. An on-board display shows drivers how much charge they have left in their battery and how far it should take them, allowing them to easily plan their longer trips with confidence.

Most urban drivers rarely use charging stations, as charging is done at home. As EV owners Peter Kilby and Ellie Smith of Brisbane (pictured above) note: “Charging at home is far more convenient than finding a petrol station. It is just like charging your phone, that we are all used to doing now”.

There are currently about 50 EV models on the market in Australia, ranging from smaller Nissans with about 100 km range to larger Teslas with over 500 km range. Prices vary accordingly. The NSW Government recently proposed $3,000 rebates for the first 25,000 new battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles purchased for less than $68,750.

Stamp duty is abolished for EVs, saving eligible EV purchasers up to $5,540 in total. The NSW Government aims to drive the uptake of EVs to more than 50% of all car sales by 2030-31.

The Government’s incentive is clear – to reduce the use of fossil fuels in vehicles as a critical component in the fight against global warming. Less exhaust pollution also leads to fewer respiratory problems in the population, saving on health costs. And our cities will be quieter.

There are also considerable advantages for the car owner. Based on an average cost of fuel of $1.50 per litre, Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council estimates the fuel cost to be $14 per 100 km for petrol cars compared to $4 per km for EVs charging from the grid. For those with solar panels who can charge their car during the day or store their own electricity, the cost of powering an EV effectively comes down to zero. For those driving 20,000 km per year, the savings would be between $2000 and $2800, depending on the source of electricity.

Maintenance costs are also much lower, as EVs have far fewer moving parts and thus less need for regular servicing or replacement parts. The Electric Vehicle Council estimates that a petrol car’s maintenance costs are around $7 per 100 km as opposed to $2 per 100 km for EVs. Again, for someone driving 20,000 km per year, an electric vehicle would save about $1000 per year.

Current lithium-ion batteries are likely to last for anywhere between 10 and 20 years, with the cost of EV batteries expected to drop significantly in coming years. Most vehicle manufacturers offer a 10 year or 160,000 km warranty on batteries. There is a market for used batteries, as their reduced output, while no longer practical for a car, is sufficient to run household and small business lights and appliances, such as refrigerators, overnight. Nonetheless, millions of batteries shall ultimately reach the end of their commercial life and their disposal and/or recycling is something that car companies and governments are actively researching.

With reducing battery costs, the total cost of electric cars has about reached parity with petrol cars, when considered over the life of the car. The upfront purchase price is projected to be about the same by 2024.

Drivers such as Dr Ojah see other advantages in owning an EV. He just loves the lack of noise from the engine, the ability to charge it overnight, the performance, and the quality of the car itself. Others are waiting for bi-directional charging in more EV models, which will allow the car battery to be charged from solar panels during the day, to power their household (or feed the grid) overnight. Only a fraction of the battery capacity would normally be required, leaving the car with plenty of capacity for the next day’s use. These owners shall be getting their house battery essentially for free, while the battery storage will enhance the security of the grid. All Japanese EVs are required to have bi-directional charging, to allow the batteries to feed into the grid in emergencies. Bi-directional charging should become more common in Australia by the end of this year and the cost is expected to come down as it becomes more popular.

Is it time to buy an EV? According to Anthony Broese van Groenou of The Good Car Co: “The main thing EV owners all agree on is that they wish that they’d got one earlier. You can’t go wrong with an electric car”.

One of the webinar attendees Dr Rod, agreed and shortly after the event he bought himself a new EV saying "What your excellent webinar did was give me the push I needed. Now I have a nice shiny Hyundai Ioniq and am driving VERY carefully. As befits my age. Thanks for your great work."

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