Graphic of an electric car Graphic of an electric car

Electric Vehicles

If you're thinking about buying an electric car, this information may help you choose the best model and charging options for your lifestyle. Join the electric vehicle ‘EVolution’ and help lead the way for a cleaner, more energy-efficient future.

Motoring world is changing

In 2018 alone, more than 2.2 million new plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) were registered globally. The motoring future for Queensland and Australia is inevitable.

Graphic or world map showing the number of EVs sold globally
  • Transcript

    Hi, in today's Smarter Energy episode we'll be road testing some of the latest electric vehicles.

    We’ll look at some of the options available in Queensland, as well as the pros and cons to driving an electric powered car.

    It’s hard to spot an electric car on our roads today. For one thing, there aren’t many of them.

    In Australia, electric vehicles or EVs currently only represent point one per cent of all new car sales. But that is all about to change.

    I’m with Don McPhail from Ergon, who pretty much knows everything there is to know about EVs.

    Don, what’s driven the slow uptake of electric vehicles in Australia - considering the high petrol prices?

    Yeah, so currently the vehicles are a bit more expensive than petrol vehicles and they also have a smaller driving range as well.

    Is that changing?

    Yeah there's a number of exciting things, so there's starting to be more options available, more features in the vehicle, the lower running cost, lower to maintain and they're more environmentally friendly as well.

    So, say I wanted to buy one for myself...what different options would I have?

    So, there's three different types of options.

    There's Hybrid Electric Vehicles which run on petrol and electric which is charged by the braking system.

    The second option is a Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, again petrol and electric but you also get ability to plug in, charge it up and you know, get more range out of that battery. And it's actually an option that Ergon's now incorporating into our fleet.

    The third option is the Battery Electric Vehicle which is fully electric. So no petrol engine, no fuel tank, no exhaust pipe. You plug it in, charge it up and fully electric

    So what's the absolute best thing about having an EV then?

    Just in general, there's a number of features the vehicles themselves include, the lower maintenance costs, the lower running costs, the fact that they are more environmentally friendly so the lower emissions..., they're about two-thirds less emissions than a normal petrol vehicle and generally they're just a nice car to drive.

    And is there a downside?

    Yeah, so they are a little bit more expensive currently and you do get that shorter driving range, and you do have to wait that little bit longer for a vehicle to charge up, but all those sort of things are getting better.

    Alright, well look I've given this one a test drive already, I kinda like it. Do you mind if I keep this one?

    Yeah, it's not mine so you can have it.

    Awesome! Thank you very much Don.

    Cheers mate.

    We can expect the purchase price of EVs to be close to or cheaper than petrol vehicles within a few short years. When that happens EV sales are expected to grow dramatically.

    Here at Ergon we’re part of the plan to build an electric highway in regional Queensland to support EVs used by our employees and customers.

    It's just one of the ways that we’re thinking forward.

  • Transcript

    Welcome to Smarter Energy’s guide to charging electric vehicles.

    With more car manufacturers releasing their version of an electric vehicle, their popularity is on the rise. If you’re considering an electric vehicle, you’re probably wondering about a few things, like how do you charge them, where do you charge them, and what does it cost to charge them?

    EVs can be charged at home or work from a standard electrical power point or by installing a fast charge unit. Right now, fully charging your EV from a power point is usually done overnight.

    Public charging stations will become more widely available in the near future and can fully charge vehicles in only 30 minutes.

    So what will you need to recharge your EV at home?

    Whether you use a standard power point or install a fast charging station, your home wiring will need to be checked by a licensed electrical contractor to ensure it can handle the extra load.

    Charging an EV can draw as much electricity as an average home’s peak load, so it’s important to check that your property has sufficient electricity supply.

    The costs involved with installing a 15 Amp plug or putting in a dedicated advanced EV outlet can vary widely.

    Your EV dealership may offer a free home assessment when you purchase an EV.

    Of course, you can save a lot by charging your EV on an Economy or Off Peak Tariff.

    If you’re out and about, public charging station costs will vary with each provider. Some places will provide charging for free while you shop or eat at their store. Others, like council sites, could be based on a normal parking fee structure. And some will charge a fixed amount for a charge, particularly in the case of fast charging stations.

    Wherever you charge your EV, it will still be much cheaper than using petrol.

    As the popularity of EVs grow the cost of EVs and availability of charging stations will only improve.
    At Ergon we’re adding EVs to our fleet and we are part of the plan to build an electric highway in regional Queensland. It’s just one of the ways we’re thinking forward.

They're cheaper to run

The running costs of EVs are much lower than for petrol cars. The electricity to charge an EV works out to be approximately one third as much per kilometer than buying petrol for a similar sized vehicle. (source:

Graphic showing that EVs are 2/3 cheaper to run than petrol cars

Calculate your fuel savings

Select your current car and compare it to a range of electric cars available today.


Calculate your fuel savings

I drive a
I travel
kms /
and fuel costs about
/ litre
If I had an electric car I would charge it on Tariff
Your car
fuel costs / year
fuel & electricity costs / year
Savings on fuel / year
How is this calculated?

Tariffs are at the current gazetted rates and include GST. For more information talk to your electricity retailer.

Tariff 11 Residential is the most common tariff for electricity usage in the home. For more on charging at home or work see Charging your electric vehicle.

Fuel efficiency data is only available for selected cars. New car models are added every 6 months.

Vehicle data sourced from the Green Vehicle Guide © Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development).

Limited End-user licence provided by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development: You may print and reproduce views obtained from the Green Vehicle Guide data, retaining this notice, for your personal use only. The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development gives no warranty regarding the Green Vehicle Guide data's accuracy, completeness, currency or suitability for any particular purpose.

* Tariff 12A is based on the off-peak rate.

^ Estimated savings are indicative only and may vary depending on the reliability of data provided by the Australian Government, driving conditions and vehicle performance etc.

Eco friendly

Electric vehicles are simply better for the environment

Image of CO2 in circle

Less pollution

EVs emit ~66% less carbon dioxide compared to petrol/diesel vehicles.

Image of arrows in circle

Renewable energy

Electricity used to charge an EV can come from renewable sources like solar, wind and geothermal.

Image of leaf in circle

Eco-friendly materials

EVs trend towards more eco-friendly production and recyled or green materials.

  • Photo of a Nissan Leaf EV

    Ergon fleet cars

    Here at Ergon we’re using Fully Electric Vehicles as part of our fleet.

  • Photo of the BMW i8 and i3

    Types of electric vehicles

    There are two main types of EVs – PHEVs and BEVs, defined by how electricity is used as their energy source.

  • Photo of the centre console of an electric vehicle

    Cheaper to run

    The electricity to charge an EV works out to approximately 40% of the cost of petrol for a similar sized vehicle to drive the same distance.

  • Photo of a charging unit for an electric car

    Charging at home or work

    Charging at home or work is possible via a standard electrical power point. Dedicated EV charging units are another option.

  • Photo of the inside of an electric car

    Better features

    EVs are fast becoming more available and offering better features than their petrol counterparts, for little extra cost.