By Carola Jones
Electric Vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more common on our roads. Driving an EV minimises harmful NOX emissions and filling up a car with electricity is cheaper than with fuel. More importantly, they are also a lot of fun to drive. Most people who have tried an EV fall in love with the instant torque and smooth acceleration and all of that comes without engine noise. Yes, you can still hear the tyres on the road and the wind but it’s a very different driving experience. Some say, they could never go back to driving a car with an internal combustion engine.
But EVs also come with challenges. The biggest barriers to EV uptake are ‘range anxiety’ and the lack of public charging infrastructure.
Everty – a peer-to-peer charging network – has asked over 80 EV drivers across Australia how they use and charge their electric cars.
Today, the majority of EV drivers charge their cars at home most of the time and only need to charge away from home when they go on longer trips. 96% of current EV owners have access to home charging and use it over 90% of the time.
Interestingly, 4% of the survey participants do not have access to home charging and only use public or private charging infrastructure. These respondents may have either workplace charging or access to conveniently located private/public chargers.
This might also explain why apartment dwellers with on-street parking, or a carpark without a power connection, have not yet made the leap and bought an EV. This brings us to the second issue, the availability of public charging infrastructure. Australia lags behind when it comes to public charging infrastructure.
Most Australian EV drivers say that the access to public charging infrastructure is somewhat insufficient or insufficient.
It is clear from this result that EV drivers in Australia need more public charging infrastructure. As there are currently not that many public charging stations in Australia, many EV drivers may find them inconvenient to access or are simply satisfied with charging the car at home. Half the EV drivers charge away from home at least once a month. Charging behaviour fundamentally depends on the driver’s personal circumstances in how they use the car, the distances they drive, and many other factors including whether or not they own a second petrol powered car and therefore use the EV only for shorter trips.
Everty believes that having a dense network of public and private chargers in convenient locations would increase the uptake of EVs, especially amongst people in metropolitan areas with shorter commutes. The following figure shows that half of the EV drivers surveyed use public charging at least once a month and some even a few times a week.
Another barrier to buying an EV is the lack of choice of models available in Australia and the rather hefty price tags for the BMW and Tesla models. This is set to change in the next two years with the introduction of new, more affordable EVs onto the market. These include the Renault Zoe, the new Nissan LEAF 2018 and the Hyundai Ioniq. We’ll also see the introduction of two more luxury EVs next year from Audi and Jaguar.
The survey respondents drive a variety of different EV models and are spread across the country.
Everty hopes that more people will soon be able to enjoy driving an EV!
That’s why they are helping EV drivers to get access to chargers in private and public spaces while allowing the charger owner to make money from their charger.