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Mythbusting EVs

    Understand the misconceptions often associated with electric vehicles (EV).

    Myth #1: EVs are not better for the Environment

    Carbon emissions (driving)

    EVs are as close to carbon neutral as any low carbon transport technology currently available in the market, when paired with a low carbon electricity supply.

    In Australia, the Renewable Energy Target is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and encourage sustainable energy sources. However, low carbon supply can also be achieved with small scale solutions – such as buildings with solar PV installations or onshore wind turbines.

    In Australia, 50% of fleets that have joined low carbon transport initiatives have solar installations, which allows them to operate using only renewable energy.

    Local pollution

    While EVs still produce particulate matter emissions from their tyres and brakes, studies with real-world exhaust emissions data find BEVs emit only around 50% and 12.5% of the amount of local particulate matter compared with Euro 6 petrol and diesel vehicles. [1] Therefore, EVs can help minimise emissions of particulate matter.

    Life cycle emissions

    EVs present a more environmentally friendly option, when considering life cycle emissions,  particularly in countries with some degree of renewable energy integrated into their systems. [2]

    When the electricity mix is close to 100% renewable, like in Norway, EVs are undoubtedly the most environmentally friendly option (from an emissions perspective).

    The total emissions will also depend on the battery of the EV, as battery production emissions will differ depending on production location. Batteries produced in the US and Europe are less carbon intensive than in China.

    Nevertheless, the total emissions of EVs are lower than internal combustion engine vehicles, when batteries are produced with low carbon electricity, whether it is in countries with clean electricity mixes or in factories that rely mostly on renewables, such as the Tesla Model 3 factory. [3]

    The sustainability of batteries is also continuously developed to repurpose and recycle batteries for second-life purposes. The second life battery market is estimated to reach over 95GWh by 2025. [4]

    Myth #2: EVs are always more expensive

    It is true that without incentives the upfront cost of electric vehicles is often more expensive than equivalent internal combustion engine vehicles. However,  in most developed nations, governments have bridged the price gap with short term subsidies. For example in Norway, many EVs are below or equal to the retail price of comparable ICEVs (Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles).

    When you consider total cost of ownership, EVs can have a favourable business case because they can reduce up to 90% of the fuel and maintenance costs, in comparison with combustion engine cars. [5]

    EVs are expected to achieve price parity with ICEV as early as 2022 in some countries and vehicle segments. [6]

    Myth #3: An EV battery will need replacement and will wipe out all potential savings

    Batteries last longer than vehicles

    Manufacturers like Nissan now expect EV batteries will outlast vehicles by 10-12years. [7] Most BEV batteries now offer 10-year warranties or up to 240,000kms.

    In most cases EVs will not need to replace batteries

    Battery degradation has been much lower than expected, for example current experiences in Tesla vehicles show that EV batteries degrade only around 8-10% after driving 260,000kms, [8] and EV batteries stop being usable for EV driving once they reach 80-70% of degradation from the original battery capacity.

    Battery costs are continue to decrease

    Given the predicted lifespan of a battery and their declining cost, by the time a battery needs replacing, you can expect it will be much less expensive than today’s prices. [9] 

    Myth #4: EVs will not come for many years

    EVs are booming

    Electric vehicles are a reality today. By the end of 2018, there were 5.2 million electric vehicles globally. It is expected the global fleet will reach up to 43 million by 2030. [10] In countries like Norway, EV sales are already over 50% of the total new vehicle sales. [11]

    Car manufacturers are committing to electric vehicles

    Automotive manufacturers have reported investments of over USD$300 billion in electric vehicles. [12]

    New models for everyone

    Hundreds of new EV models are expected to come to markets. For example: Ford Motor Co announced in 2018 that it has planned investments on electric vehicles of USD$11 billion and will have 40 new EV models. [13]

    Myth #5: EV range isn’t good enough

    EV range is increasing

    New EV models (post 2018) already have driving ranges between 270-600km on a single charge, which is far more that the average daily personal driving requirements. [14] Research has found that consumers may be satisfied with EV ranges between 300-400km, with a minimum range of 150km. [15]

    EVs meet driving needs

    The average person in Australia travels just 38 kms per day – far less than the range of the average vehicle. Even in extreme weather conditions such as -6C or of 35C, EVs have more than twice the capacity to fulfill the average driving requirements.

    80% of EV charging is at home

    For people with home chargers, 80% of charging is done at home.

    Charging an EV at home is far more convenient than lining up at petrol stations. Many people can also charge at work. For long distance journeys public fast chargers can charge an EV to around the equivalent of 100km of range in just 25 minutes. Ultra rapid chargers will add around 300km of range in 10 minutes.

    Myth #6: Depreciation will be worse with EVs

    Electric vehicles have had far better resale values than expected. [16] As new electric vehicles start to enter the market in larger numbers, manufacturer support for residual values, particularly with respect to battery replacement, will improve.

    A tangible example of the key high volume Plug-in-Hybrid available in Australia is the Mitsubishi Outlander. In 2019 they offer a 160,000 or 8 year warranty. [17] In fleet sales, they have been guaranteeing residual values when they sell leasing packages [18] and residual values have been very strong. [19]

    Myth #7: EVs are poorer performers

    Electric vehicles are a much newer technology than internal combustion engine cars and are considered by experts and users as having a greater technical performance than internal combustion engine cars.

    Faster to accelerate

    EVs deliver instant torque so they can accelerate much faster than comparable internal combustion engine cars. Porsche and Mercedes Benz are now developing fully electric supercars. [20]

    Better handling

    Many EVs have been built with the battery running underneath the vehicle, as opposed to the front or rear of this vehicle. This lowers the centre of gravity and provides greater handling and cornering.

    No noise

    At low speeds, EVs produce almost no noise and are described as a more pleasant and fun vehicle to drive. EVs can reduce stress levels from users and improve the overall well-being of the driver.

    A digital experience

    EVs are digitally connected, allowing improved user experience and new functionality. They can be controlled remotely through smartphone apps.  

    Myth #8: Electricity prices in Australia are too high

    In Australia, petrol is more expensive than electricity when comparing the costs associated with refuelling your vehicle.

    Electric vehicle owners can save annual costs of up to $1500 by charging their vehicles using electricity instead of purchasing fuel. The average Australia drives 15,000km and spends around $2160 on petrol per year (0.14/km). An EV doing the same number of kilometres would cost $600 in electricity per year ($0.04/km). [21]

    Electricity prices differ in every state in Australia and as such so do the savings. In general corporate fleets pay significantly less for power as part of their bulk corporate purchasing rates.

    Myth #9: EV will cause blackouts

    EVs can improve the robustness and reliability of electricity systems because they can help balance power flows and act as additional storage.  For example, if there is too much power in the grid because there is over supply of electricity, or if demand is lower than expected, grid operators can direct excess power flows to charge EVs and reduce the stress on the network.

    At the same time, many manufacturers are now adding vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities to their EVs. This will allow an EV to charge and discharge. In this way, EVs become a form of mobile storage that can help to power a building, communities and even large grids.

    EVs can help to avoid blackouts and provide electricity in emergency situations. In Japan, Nissan has already made agreements with the City Yokosuka to provide EVs for free in natural disasters as backup power sources. [22]

    References

    1. Hooftman et al. (2016) in https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/electric-vehicles-from-life-cycle&sa=D&ust=1561532237953000&usg=AFQjCNEykQf59n6aOG2-a1HmiQ0mKi1PyA
    2. https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-how-electric-vehicles-help-to-tackle-climate-change
    3. https://www.fastcompany.com/90334858/inside-teslas-100-renewable-design-for-the-gigafactory
    4. https://data.bloomberglp.com/bnef/sites/14/2017/07/BNEF-Lithium-ion-battery-costs-and-market.pdf
    5. Research experiences in the Nordic countries 2016-2018. Work is in review process in a scientific journal
    6. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-04-12/electric-vehicle-battery-shrinks-and-so-does-the-total-cost
    7. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/nissan-leaf-batteries-can-outlast-cars-by-10-years-automaker-claims/
    8. https://electrek.co/2018/04/14/tesla-battery-degradation-data/
    9. https://about.bnef.com/blog/behind-scenes-take-lithium-ion-battery-prices/
    10. https://www.iea.org/publications/reports/globalevoutlook2019/
    11. https://consent.yahoo.com/collectConsent?sessionId=3_cc-session_b4b0c7b9-1437-4279-ab95-d0f3a81a6071&lang=&inline=false
    12. https://www.theclimategroup.org/project/ev100
    13. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autoshow-detroit-ford-motor/ford-plans-11-billion-investment-40-electrified-vehicles-by-2022-idUSKBN1F30YZ
    14. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/10/27/us-electric-car-range-will-average-275-miles-by-2022-400-miles-by-2028-new-research-part-1/
    15. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988318304961?via%3Dihub
    16. https://www.myev.com/research/buyers-sellers-advice/electric-vehicles-with-the-best-resale-values-for-2019
    17. https://www.mitsubishi-motors.com.au/shopping-tools/warranty
    18. Sourced from Mitsubishi directly in Jan 2019. Mitsubishi should be contacted directly for latest details
    19. https://www.motorama.com.au/blog/buyer-advice/buying-a-used-hybrid
    20. https://www.euronews.com/living/2019/04/08/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-electric-supercar
    21. https://electricvehiclecouncil.com.au/about-ev/myth-busting/
    22. https://qz.com/1555710/japan-to-harness-power-of-electric-vehicle-batteries-in-natural-disasters/