Author Archive: Darryn Van Hout

Author Archives for Darryn Van Hout

electricity grid

Just a few years ago, renewable energy was barely considered as a part of a country’s energy planning.

Publics and governments attempted to increase the renewable share in their energy systems, however the costs were too high. Many were also concerned about the impact of adding ‘too much capacity’ from various renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power on the electricity grid.

But this is no more. The economics are no longer challenging, with the prices for inputs falling so low (in particular solar PV and wind turbines) that renewables are now in close competition with traditional, fossil fuel generated power.

In 2014, approximately 144 countries developed plans to expand renewable energy and close to 100 established specific goals and incentives.

A report from the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) indicated that with the correct combination of investments and new policies, countries will be able to integrate unknown shares of varible [...]

We sort information about electric car prices in comparison to the standard petrol cars from the Australian Electric Vehicle Association: Currently, most automakers are not well equipped to manufacture huge numbers of electric cars, and therefore the low production becomes more expensive. In addition, most vehicle manufacturers depend on prior finance arrangements and regular vehicle service schedules to generate revenue.

With a significantly reduced maintenance routine, the upfront cost will obviously be higher. Today, you will have to part with about $39, 000 for a new Nissan Leaf and $150, 000 for a new Tesla Model S (P85). However, keep in mind that driving around will cost you less than 3 cents per kilometre, and though a similarly sized petrol car will cost you less in terms of initial purchase price, driving around will cost you 12 to 14 cents per kilometre. In essence, driving an average of 14, 000 km [...]

The Australian Electric Vehicle Association gives some pointers on this— based on how you drive and the existing conditions, your range is likely to vary. For instance, sustained high speeds, long mountain climbs, three passengers and luggage as well as strong headwinds are all situations that will reduce the car’s economy and consequently the range (just the same way it happens with petrol vehicles). However, tailwinds and long descents will hugely enhance your range.

The ‘fuel’ economy of an electric car that uses a battery is usually quoted in watt-hours per kilometre (Wh/km). On average, a compact EV a fuel economy of 135 Wh/km. PHEVs on the other hand will first have a moderate electric-only range of 50 to 100 km, before the petrol engine can kick in. Because of the additional weight and complexity, the PHEV’s electric-only range will generally be poorer than that of a pure EV, but will [...]

The issue of charging EVs has become highly contentious. Lack of readily available public charging infrastructure has been cited as a real hurdle hampering broader take-up of electrical vehicles in Australia. But truth be told, charging an electric car is easy and can be carried out pretty much anywhere.

Despite being perfect for Australian weather conditions, when it comes to charging, electric vehicles (hybrid models) are preferred more compared to the battery-only vehicles since charging presents motorists with both challenges and opportunities.

Charging an EV is easy and there are various charging options available for electric cars. Based on the car’s range and size of the car’s battery, the rate of charging can be anything from slow, fast or faster.
For the car models with large batteries, charging can take about 7-8 hours although many models charge quickly (about 30 minutes) using high voltage quick [...]

Given that about 90 per cent of the Aussie population commutes less than 100km each day, it’s just right to conclude that electric cars are indeed viable and convenient in the Land Under. According to BMW’s spokeswoman Lenore Fletcher, electric vehicles’ craze around the globe is growing and Australia is no exception.

“Electric vehicles have attracted a great deal of interest and awareness regarding the sustainability question in multiple countries around the world and 18,000 BMW I vehicles were delivered internationally in 2014,” Fletcher said.

Electric vehicles offer users a wide spectrum of benefits, especially when compared to the typical internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. Some of the benefits of EVs include:

  • – Higher efficiency
  • – Lower operating costs
  • – Lower maintenance costs
  • – Reduced traffic noise
  • – Reduced Greenhouse gas emission
  • – Air quality improvements
  • – Enhanced comfort and convenience
  • – Feels like any other [...]

After three years of trial and experimentation of Australia’s first ever electric car in Western Australia, it was discovered that Australia was fit for electric vehicles. However, there were some technological barriers to the adoption of these cars since no electric cars existed at the time. Instead of asking major manufacturers in Australia to produce electric vehicles, they instead converted Ford Focuses, an existing model, for the study.

Each of the converted cars was fitted with a 27 kW DC motor, a 23 kWh batter pack and a 1000A motor controller. The study used these vehicles as regular fleet cars to determine their usability levels for every day driving. These cars were subjected to a road tested driving range of 131km per charge (dynamometer testing produced a range of 143km) which significantly exceeded Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV which attained a 112km range under similar road test conditions.
Besides confirming that Australia was [...]

Electric vehicles are viable in Australia and are more suited for the country’s environment. There are various types of EVs on the Australian market and the extent to which these cars use electricity as their source of energy is what differs. Hybrid cars, also known as range-extender cars (those which use petrol engine as a generator to power the battery) once dominated the market but with the emergence of innovative battery technologies like those used in mobile phones to charge cars, there has been a significant shift towards pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) which have no internal combustion engine. The type of electric vehicle you choose will hugely depend on three things; its price, range and your use.


Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)

BEVs are 100% electric vehicles which use electricity as their only energy source. BEVs and PHEVs alike are referred to as Plug-in Electric Vehicles for the [...]

Chris Jones, the Vice President of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) explained to us exactly how electric cars operate.

With Electric vehicles (EVs), there’s no need for motorists to visit a petrol station again. These cars or motorcycles are specifically designed to use a sizable battery pack and an electric motor to store energy.
EVs are truly greener cars. The pure EVs are only powered by batteries, while the PHEVs or plug-in hybrid EVs use a tiny petrol engine that extends the car’s range. Majority of modestly sized electric vehicles use batteries that range from 16 to 24 kWh while a full sized EV like Tesla Model S is fitted with a 60 or 85 kWh battery. The bigger batteries are more effective and you can drive for a long time when you have them. However, one thing to keep in mind is that they are more expensive.
EVs are exactly like [...]

The buzz in Australia today is all about the increasing number of new electric cars spotted on the country’s roads, led by the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt. But since EVs are rather new products to the Aussie market, we asked various AEVA experts in next-generation automobiles to mull through the hype and provide us with some realistic electric vehicle buying tips. They came up with these ten things to know before buying an electric car.


1. Is it the right fit for me?

If you often drive over 200 km each day, then an electric car is probably not a good option for you now. As earlier indicated, most Australians drive less than 40 km each day, and most households have a second car. You can consider replacing the ‘runabout’ with an Electric Vehicle. As an alternative, you can also hire a standard petrol car when [...]

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