The Australian Electric Vehicle Association

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Beyond Zero Emissions Electric Vehicle report

The Beyond Zero Emissions think tank had the Melbourne Launch of their Electric vehicle report on the 2nd of November 2016. The report found a shift to 100% electric passenger vehicles in urban areas powered by renewable energy was realistic and affordable and would eliminate at least 6% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions. Also at the more favourable end of projections a 100% shift to electric powered buses could achieve a 12% saving in costs.

The report differs from other recent reports in favour of EV uptake, in that it is compiled using the Zero Carbon Australia project guiding principles, including 100% renewable energy and that technology is proven and commercially available.

The effect of these constraints is to produce more conservative outcomes than that of more speculative reports.

The study analyses transition to 100% electric vehicles in urban areas powered by 100% renewable energy over a ten year period.

Key Findings

A shift to 100% electric Vehicles would eliminate at least 6% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions. The 6% represents urban passenger vehicles only, including regional vehicles increases this to 8%. Presumably adding light delivery and buses increases it further

Electric Vehicles are more convenient.  This alludes to home re-charging as opposed to petrol re-filling. Also noting that comprehensive public charging infrastructure adds to convenience.

A rapid shift to electric vehicles operating on 100% renewable energy is both realistic and affordable.  At a conservative cost scenario this transition will result in an achievable cost impost of 25%. Using a favourable estimate of reducing prices there is no direct cost difference to business as usual with ICE. This is without including indirect and intangible benefits. The cost model also includes extensive public charging infrastructure.

 [ This cost impost has already reduced since the report was compiled making a no extra cost scenario much more likely]

Costs could be even lower if we adapt transport behaviours to reduce car ownership.

Better provision and availability of public transport and alternatives such bicycles and Electric scooters, car sharing and ride sharing are proposed.

A rapid shift to electric buses operating on 100% renewable energy is also feasible and affordable. Using the conservative estimate as 100% transition to electric buses was found to cost only 10% more. At the favourable end of development there was a 12% cost saving. Given the aforementioned existing cost reductions it is likely this is at present a no cost option.

The Executive summary notes that the EV revolution is rapidly gaining pace, and that a major tipping point is likely to occur. With battery prices projected to drop over the next 4 years and the price of new EV’s to follow suit. Stating that EV’s can today replace ICE cars for 99% of urban trips.

“Electric Vehicles are a disruptive technology. This means it is a technology that will disrupt the existing market, displacing the existing technology. With Australia being long dependent upon international oil markets with a relatively small number of oil suppliers, the electric vehicle may finally allow Australia to use sustainable, domestically produced energy for our transport needs.” P12

The model assumes a rapid 10 year phase out of ICE cars, and when using the current price of available EV’s this inputs a high cost of replacement to achieve the scenario. The main benefit of EV’s is calculated to be fuel and maintenance costs.

Under the low cost scenario car and battery technology progress at the more rapid end of projections.

Maintenance costs for EV’s are at the lower end of projections

Petrol prices are at the higher end of projections.

Under this scenario a 100% transfer to EVs was the same cost as continuing to use petrol cars, and transition to electric buses resulted on a 12% cost saving.

The power requirement estimated to run the 100% transition was calculated at 43TWh per annum by 2025 and 45 TWh per annum by 2035. An 18% increase to the current total generation. In their published stationary energy plan, BZE have shown this total requirement is feasible to be generated 100% renewable.

The policy responses address 3 main barriers perceived by the authors.

-Lack of awareness

– perceived range anxiety

– perceived high upfront cost.

The following policy choices are listed:

“Educational programs and fleet trial programs, to raise awareness of the high quality performance, lower operating costs, convenience and substitutability of electric cars” P46

“Requiring that new car parks and apartment buildings are designed in “readiness” for electric car charging infrastructure retrofit” P46

“Promoting and supporting car share schemes (such as Go-get, CarNextDoor, and Flexicar), which increase individual car utilisation rates, and therefore favour electric vehicles (due to their low operating costs). These schemes could be supported by city councils by providing dedicated parking spaces, and facilitating the installation of electric charging facilities for those spaces, for example.” P46

“Promoting or supporting installation of public charging infrastructure by private business.” P46/47

“- Introduction of progressively stringent car emissions standards.

- Reducing or removing taxes on the import of electric vehicles.

- Lower or no registration fees for electric vehicles.

- Access to transit lanes for electric vehicles. “ P47

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