E-mobility promises to ease Australia’s growing pains, but only if they can break the barriers to entry

With electric vehicles making headlines as part of Federal election commitments, perhaps the time has finally come for electric mobility to have its moment in Australia. In its third consecutive year of record-breaking emission levels, Australia, which otherwise championed the cause of sustainable energy, has been conspicuously slower than other developed nations in embracing e-mobility. With the country on track to miss its Paris Agreement climate target by 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide, according to a report by consultancy firm NDEVR Environmental, there is no better time than now for Australia to build a sustainable mobility platform.

The implications are far-reaching. At 1.7 percent growth rate, Australia’s population expands at double the rate of the United States and the United Kingdom. This means every year a staggering 407,000 people are added to the Australian transportation system, which currently relies on costly oil imports. If Australia extensively adapts to an electric-powered mobility system, it can eliminate 16 million barrels of imported oil every year by 2030, according to research led by the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC).

The average Australian also stands to immensely benefit from adapting to e-mobility. Apart from saving costs by reducing the dependency on an increasingly volatile oil market, the typically low maintenance electric vehicles (EVs) can help consumers save up to $2,300 every year, the EVC study showed. A lack of favorable policies, scant charging infrastructure and higher cost of acquisition may have kept EV penetration to just 0.2 percent of overall new car sales in Australia in 2018, but the truth of the matter is that every country that has embraced e-mobility has first had to break these barriers of entry.

Indeed, for Australia to move closer towards the goal of zero emission transport, they need to develop a well-established and integrated ecosystem, made up of four key components:

  • The availability of high performance and competitively priced electric vehicles
  • Accessibility of reliable and fast charging infrastructure
  • Grid reinforcement
  • The integration of renewable power generation

At ABB we have the pleasure of collaborating with leading automotive manufacturers who are driving the future for EVs, while our 130-year history as a global pioneering technology leader means that we are well positioned to help deliver the other three.

In Australia, there is roughly one charging station available for every six electric vehicles. This ratio needs to change as more electric vehicles hit the roads.

Fast chargers for EVs are popular among consumers due to their reliability for long distance journeys. While the distance or the range covered by an electric vehicle varies from one model to another and largely depends on the battery size and road conditions, ABB’s Terra HP charger is capable of providing 200km of range in only 8 minutes.

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