My local Federal (Mark Butler, member for Port Adelaide) and State (Michael Atkinson, member for Croydon, and South Australian Attorney-General) MPs were in the park across the road today, so I had a chat to them about EVs and took them for a spin around the block in my EV. They asked some good questions like costs, scalability, battery technology, and top speed.
It was fun and they were happy to listen. My wife Rosemary and I just told them what it was like to own and drive an EV from experience. I think that’s different to what they would get from industry and lobbyist groups. The rest of the neighborhood people there to meet the MPs were also fascinated.
Mark said he would speak to Peter Garrett, the Australian Environment Minister. Who knows where this will go but it’s a small step to putting EVs “on the map” for the Australian government. I am sure these guys won’t forget their first drive in an EV…….
I also handed them the Electric Car Submission below. Here is a link to the Electric Car Submission in MS Word format. This is a simple 1 pager they could take away and get some key points. Tried to frame it from a point of view of what matters to them, i.e. the addressing the problems the government is facing.
Only mistake:I forgot to bring the camera!
Electric Car Submission
The next time there is a concern over:
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Petrol Prices and dependence on foreign oil
- The Australian Car industry
Consider Electric Cars:
- Inexpensive to build in volume (2/3 of cost of petrol cars due to reduced complexity)
- Nearly free to operate (a few cents/km in electricity)
- Have nearly zero maintenance (only wearing parts are brakes and tyres)
- Have adequate range and performance for 90% of Adelaide driving (ABS stats)
- Have zero Greenhouse emissions if charged from a home PV solar system
There are opportunities for Australian business:
- Large car manufacturers (new Electric Cars)
- Small business (conversions of existing petrol cars, just like LPG conversions)
- Suppliers (batteries, motors, electronics)
- Export (we could lead the rest of the world, rather than importing electric cars)
- Leap-frog hybrid technology to pure electric
- Would complement a huge expansion of renewable energy (solar and wind)
- Dramatically reduce Australian dependence on foreign oil
One immediate action that would help build an electric car industry:
- Extend $2,000 LPG conversion subsidy to electric vehicle conversions
My wife Rosemary and I drive an electric car every day. We do 90% of our driving in the electric car and rarely use our 2nd petrol car. Our car is a recycled petrol car that we converted to electric drive. We recharge from a PV solar array and emit no greenhouse gases. We only visit the petrol station to get air for the tyres and the car needs no regular servicing. We effectively drive for free. To convert a small petrol car to electric and install a PV solar array to charge it costs less than a medium size new car. Why isn’t everybody doing this?