CONSIDERING THE SWITCH: Australians are feeling the pressure, with high fuel prices and the cost of living – are electric vehicles the answer? Photo: provided.

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Gone are the days when electric vehicles were reserved for those who could afford the high prices that accompanied the first luxury models.

Increased consumer awareness has compelled companies to do better, which has increased the pressure for products that support a sustainable future.

As society demands better environmental initiatives, companies have pivoted to include these values ​​in their business plans, with major automotive brands setting ambitious sustainability goals.

Volvo Cars has pledged to offer only electric vehicles by 2030 and is a signatory to a COP26 agreement alongside Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes Benz. The Climate Pledge commits companies to working towards producing 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2035.

Combine environmental issues with the pressure we all feel from the rising cost of living, and it begs the question, is it time to switch to an electric vehicle?

Financial benefits

With fuel prices at an all-time high and cost of living pressures rising while wages stagnate, Australians are feeling the pinch.

In March, record sums were charged at the cistern and consumers began to wonder how they would continue to run their cars at such an expense.

Electric vehicles could be the answer. According to Driva, the average electric vehicle costs $15 for a full charge and can travel around 450 km on a full battery. They also cost significantly less to service and maintain, omitting the need for fuel filters, spark plugs, and oil changes, among other factors.

Government incentives create even more savings opportunities, with each state government introducing its own.

Tasmania, for example, has announced a two-year exemption from stamp duty for purchases of new and used electric vehicles and a two-year exemption from registration for car rental companies when buying electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are more accessible than ever, with most reputable automakers offering models at mid-range prices.

Even lenders are urging car buyers to consider an electric vehicle, with lower interest rates. Driveva, an innovative car finance platform, is offering a 0.7% interest rate reduction on electric car loans from select lenders.

General Motors intends to add great affordability to the market with its electrified Equinox SUV, which is expected to launch in 2023 at a reasonable price of $41,500. But for those currently in the market, MG is offering their ZS EV for $44,990 drive-away.

Great Value: Drive offers low interest rates on electric car loans, with select lenders. Photo: provided.

The environmental benefits

Assessing emissions from electric vehicles and comparing them to internal combustion engine vehicles is not straightforward. Although electric vehicles do not release tailpipe emissions, charging them through the power grid generates carbon dioxide.

Even though Australia’s current grid is primarily powered by coal and fossil fuels, CO2 emissions from electric vehicle charging are still significantly lower than those generated by ICE vehicles.

And as we move towards renewable energy, the potential is high for even lower emissions from electric vehicles.

An article published by Forbes pitted the Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI against its BEV (battery electric vehicle) counterpart, the Volkswagen ID.3 Pro Performance.

After calculating the vehicle’s CO2 emissions and the emissions generated by the production of fuel or electricity, the BEV still came out on top, emitting 36.2% less CO2, even after taking the notoriously grid as an example. pollutant from Australia.

Performance and Convenience

The biggest obstacle to the widespread acceptance of electric vehicles is the misconception that they are not as efficient in performance and convenience as gasoline-powered cars.

When in fact they can accelerate faster than ICE vehicles due to fewer moving parts and simple engine.

There is, however, the lack of nationwide charging stations to consider, with only 3,000 public charging stations dotting mostly the perimeter of Australia.

That is expected to be a fleeting problem, however, with the first round of the government’s Future Fuels Fund funneling $24.5 million toward fast-charging stations in 2021, creating 403 electric vehicle fast-charging stations across the country.

The initiative includes three funding rounds and $500 million to build infrastructure in an effort to overcome the barriers that prevent Australians from buying electric vehicles.

With the range of electric vehicles constantly improving, charging a full battery is often enough for urban drivers for an entire week, and home charging stations are mostly used unless drivers are travelling.

Sales of electric vehicles are growing rapidly, with sales doubling in the months of January, February and March this year, compared to the same period last year. So, with increased demand, Australia will surely follow other countries that are more advanced in the electric vehicle market.

This is branded content for Driveva.

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