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So far in 2023, every Australian state and territory has seen EV share of sales more than double when compared to all sales made in 2022. Approximately 8.4 % of all new cars sold are EVs which is more than a 120% increase compared to last year1.
With the surge in EV sales, questions surrounding how to choose the right model, living with an EV, and end-of-life utilisation have been on the rise. We answer some of the most common questions about EVs below.
For those opting for short-range city EVs (like the Mini Electric Classic) and considering a journey from, as an example, Sydney to Canberra, you may be wondering about the need for frequent recharges throwing a spanner in the works.
Rest assured, public charging infrastructure is continuing to expand. At December 2022, there were more than 4,900 public chargers located at over 2,390 sites around the country (EVC 2023)2. As at 30 June 2023, the number of high-power public charging locations in Australia has seen a 57% increase compared to last year. Note that many of these locations have multiple charging bays in place1.
In addition, newer EV models boasting extended driving ranges and faster recharging technologies are emerging. The average EV now has a driving range of 480km, but the technology is advancing so rapidly that new models can drive for almost 550km on a single charge. The average Australian drives 38km per day so an EV owner could go up to 10 days without a recharge.
While investment in public charging infrastructure is increasing, as much as 80% of EV charging takes place at home2.
Alternatively, you might want to consider a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEVs) which combines the best of both worlds with hybrid electric and petrol cars.
EVs can play a huge role in reducing an organisation’s footprint, producing significantly lower emissions than a combustion engine car. Switching to EVs means fewer greenhouse gases and less air pollution, so employees and employers alike are contributing to a better environment for the future.
However, an EV's lifecycle does include two phases that generate CO2 – manufacturing (especially the battery production) and the electricity used for charging, though the latter concern is mitigated if you have access to solar or other renewable energy sources.
EVs may have a higher initial vehicle cost. For example, the most affordable Hyundai Kona Electric model is priced at approximately $55,000, while the petrol counterpart stands at approximately $30,000. However, the resale value of electric cars is currently much higher than their petrol counterparts and is expected to remain so. Further, the average cost of EVs is lowering as production ramps up, and it is anticipated that electric cars will meet price parity in the future.
Newer EVs are demonstrating longer-lasting capabilities compared to early models like the first-generation Nissan Leaf. Those initial vehicles were developed without the insights we now possess regarding battery longevity. EV owners can also proactively take steps to enhance their vehicle’s battery life, including mindful driving habits and minimising frequent fast charging.
For the most part, dismantling and recycling an EV is similar to conventional cars. The majority of the vehicle's components can be crushed and repurposed. However, the challenge lies in recycling the battery, which isn't as straightforward. Manufacturers are innovating ways to recycle functional battery cells or those with remaining capacity. Car makers are also exploring secondary uses for battery packs in less demanding environments, such as providing lighting for factories, extending their utility for many years to come.
Salary packaging (also known as a novated lease) can save thousands of dollars off the cost of owning an EV. With the Federal Government Electric Car Discount Policy, eligible EVs financed through a novated lease are exempt from fringe benefits tax (FBT) meaning you can pay the lease cost and all running costs with pre-tax dollars, with zero GST on the purchase price of the car or the running costs.
At Smartleasing, a subsidiary of Smartgroup, we provide you with tools such as novated leasing calculators and industry-specific educational content (including ongoing EV webinars) to help your employees understand how much salary packaging can save them. Head to EV Deals at Smartleasing.com.au to see for yourself.