There are a number of compelling benefits to electric cars over conventional petrol/diesel vehicles. These include a vast improvement in air quality in our cities. Reduction in health costs caused by air pollution. Less noise pollution. Less CO2 into the atmosphere. Less poisonous and cancer causing emissions in our cities. Electric cars are also much cheaper to run (see MEC Fuel Savings Calculator) and require minimal servicing. The batteries have a second life as energy storage and are recyclable.
There are major reasons to change including Liquid Fuel Security – at present we are at the mercy of oil mostly from the middle east and if disruption to supply happens through war, an economic collapse or environmental disaster we have supplies that will last only a few weeks. Then no food in the shops, no petrol at the bowser, no supplies to hospitals. Do we really need to take on such risks. The government has received fierce criticism for this “passive” approach, with Liberal Senator Jim Molan labelling it “a single point of failure for Australia”. He warns that not only would a chronic oil shortage devastate Australia’s economy, but it would also immobilise the military.
Economically we spend around $30 billion dollars (2018 figures) importing oil from the Middle East (refined in Singapore) and other places. We should be spending those billions of dollars on local Australian energy and creating Australian jobs. It’s a crazy shopping bill to power our vehicle fleet when we have all the energy we need locally if we switch to electric. Our balance of trade would be much healthier if we can ditch oil and the internal combustion engine.
We also need to stop poisoning the Australian public with vehicle exhaust which kills more Aussies each year than road accidents. It also incurs a bill from premature deaths and hospital admissions and services of about $4 billion annually.