Ergon Energy has developed a strategy to support an expected increase in customer EV uptake recognising they have the potential to provide significant benefits to both customers and utilities.

Our innovative EV trial found high participant acceptance of EV's, lower running costs than petrol or diesel vehicles and even a reluctance to hand them back at the end of the trial.

And it seems Ford and General Motors customers in the United States share the same sentiments with growing customer acceptance and satisfaction with EVs.

For two years in a row, the Chevrolet Volt has topped the customer satisfaction ranking with an extraordinary 92% owner satisfaction.

EVs uptake growing

To date, EV uptake in Australia has been slow although there are about 1200 on Australian roads now and approximately 300 in Queensland.

However, with exponential growth in the US and other countries since 2012, experts predict it's going to continue and here as well.

By September 2014 there were over 600,000 EVs worldwide, with at least 22 models available. The world's major car manufacturers have also recognised the new paradigm and strong customer acceptance and are rolling out their own EV brands to capture market share.

And China could also be the major catalyst for significant worldwide take up. The Chinese Government is mandating electric cars make up at least 30 percent of government vehicle purchases by 2016 in a bid to fight severe air pollution and reduce energy use.

By September 2015 it's anticipated there will be more than one million electric vehicles world - wide with a 60/40 split between battery EVs (BEVs) and plug in electric hybrids (PHEVs).

Why the uptake?

Mass market EVs are emerging because of cheaper running costs even with the significant fall in the price of oil and petrol, air pollution concerns, government regulations, new technology, better battery storage, more charging points and charging options and growing consumer acceptance.

Some EVs have already halved in price since 2011 and are expected to become cheaper in the next few years when they reach a price point which will likely increase sales.

Electric vehicle friendly network

Ergon is watching developments closely and is "EV ready" knowing there will be greater numbers on our roads within a few short years which could impact our network.

Underpinning our EV strategy, Electric Vehicles: Driving EVolution (PDF 801.6 kb), is our commitment to providing an 'EV friendly' network and recharging options that do not increase peak demand on our network.

Benefits of electric vehicles

EVs present an opportunity for low cost, low carbon transport, and for energy diversity and security in transportation.

The range of EVs available in Australia is growing. Our poster, Electric Vehicles the future is here (PDF 387.8 kb), shows the BEV and PHEV models currently in market.