It’s been a bit of a journey doing this major update. We have tinkered around at the edges over the past 5 years on the website and much has changed in EV land. When we launched the site 5 years ago there were no production models of EVs other than the Tesla Roadster and a few quirky ones like the Aptera (featured in above picture) which have fallen by the wayside. Now EVs are no longer a novelty or eccentricity by those who had conversions carried out (such as myself).
All the major car companies now have EV and/or hybrid vehicles. VW for example have announced they will have 14 electric/hybrid models from the group brands during 2014. I’m still running the Mitsubishi Mirage I had converted back in 2008. Still going strong – original batteries still supply my power and the cost savings have been substantial in fuel and servicing costs. The price of petrol in Australia during that time has risen from about $1.20 in 2009 to about $1.60 at the beginning of 2014. Electricity prices have also risen but to ‘fill’ an EV still costs about 75% less than a petrol vehicle.
So what has happened in Australia. Quite frankly not a lot – still no incentives to own a zero local emissions car despite the billions being spent on health services every year due to bad air quality. As I mention on the website even the financially impoverished Greek government waives registration tax for clean vehicles. Other countries such as Estonia and Romania also have incentive schemes. It speaks volumes for the lack of vision of both major parties in Australia that there is absolutely zero on offer locally. Quite pathetic when you consider what a rich country Australia is and so short sighted when the health costs associated with poisonous vehicle emissions are taken into account. More people die from air pollution than road accidents!
“Motor vehicle-related air pollution is believed to be responsible for between 900 and 4,500 cases of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and bronchitis each year in Australia and between 900 and 2,000 early deaths. An Australian study on the health effects of air pollution in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in 2005 found a 10 mg/m3 elevation in PM2.5 concentration was associated with a 1% increase in the daily total number of deaths.” Impacts on health of Air Quality in Australia
This is a massive public health concern yet there seems to be complete silence on the issue – time for some visionary politicians (if any exist) to start putting policy in place to encourage the uptake of clean vehicles.