There are a number of great benefits to electric vehicles (EVs) over conventional petrol/diesel cars.
Cheaper to run
Owners of an EV have the advantage of much lower running costs. The electricity to charge an EV works out around a third as much per kilometre as buying petrol for the same vehicle1.
There are a number of handy calculators you can use to see the savings. Check out the Fuel Cost Savings Calculator on the My Electric Car website.
Cheaper to maintain
A battery electric vehicle (BEV) has a lot less moving parts than a conventional petrol/diesel car. There is relatively little servicing and no expensive exhaust systems, starter motors, fuel injection systems, radiators and many other parts that aren’t needed in an EV.
With just one moving part – the rotor – BEVs are particularly simple and very strong. Just maintain the brakes, tyres and suspension and that’s about it2.
Batteries do wear out so replacement batteries will eventually be needed. Most car manufacturers warrant EV batteries for around 8 years.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) have a petrol engine that needs regular servicing so cost more to maintain. However, because the electrical motor requires little maintenance due to far fewer moving parts, this leads to less wear and tear of the petrol engine components3.
Some Australian states offer other savings for EV owners. EVs registered in the ACT are exempt from stamp-duty. EVs registered in Victoria receive a $100 reduction in registration fees each year4.
Better for the environment
Less pollution: By choosing to drive an EV you are helping to reduce harmful air pollution from exhaust emissions. An EV has zero exhaust emmissions5.
Renewable energy: If you use renewable energy to recharge your EV, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions even further. You could recharge your EV from your solar PV system during the day instead of from the grid. Another idea is to purchase GreenPower from your electricity retailer. Then, even if you recharge your EV from the grid, your greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.
Eco-friendly materials: There is also a trend towards more eco-friendly production and materials for EVs. The Ford Focus Electric is made up of recycled materials and the padding is made out of bio based materials. The Nissan Leaf’s interior and bodywork are partly made out of green materials such as recycled water bottles, plastic bags, old car parts and even second hand home appliances6.
Reduced harmful exhaust emissions is good news for our health. Better air quality will lead to less health problems and costs caused by air pollution. EVs are also quieter than petrol/diesel vehicles, which means less noise pollution.
Recent findings have shown that several EV features can improve safety. EVs tend to have a lower centre of gravity that makes them less likely to roll over. They can also have a lower risk for major fires or explosions and the body construction and durability of EVs may make them safer in a collision7.
Our energy security
On a national level, EVs can help with Australia’s energy security. At present, Australia is highly dependent on other countries for petroleum imports. EVs are easy to power from local and renewable energy sources, reducing our dependence on foreign oil. There are also better employment benefits for Australians through the use of locally produced electricity1.