Written by: Deric Ma – The Pro Forum Community of Practice
As the world transitions towards a greener future, the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has become a pressing issue. While many countries have already embraced this automotive revolution, Australia seems to be lagging behind. The Uptake of EVs has been slow in Australia, but The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has announced to stop selling Internal Combustion Engine vehicles in 2035. This state of affairs exposes a thorny question: is Australia truly ready for electric vehicles?
Charging Infrastructure Woes
The most prominent issue facing EV adoption in Australia is the lack of charging infrastructure. The vast distances between our cities and towns pose a significant hurdle to establishing an extensive charging network. With EV charging stations few and far between, long-distance travel is challenging for EV owners. Without reliable charging infrastructure, EVs may end up stranded, rendering them inconvenient and impractical for Australians.
Limited Range and Battery Anxiety
Australia’s expansive geography also plays a part in the second major concern for Australia’s readiness for electric vehicles, the limited range and battery anxiety. Many potential EV owners worry that current battery technology is insufficient to support long-distance travel. This is exacerbated by the need for frequent charging stops and the limited number of charging stations. This, in turn, raises questions about the viability and practicality of EVs, especially for Australians residing in rural or remote areas and those who love road-tripping across our beautiful country.
While, in the long term, fuel and maintenance costs are cheaper than a petrol vehicle, EVs have a high initial cost. Alongside a limited and sometimes more expensive second-hand market, buying an EV is not often an option for most buyers. However, recently competition in the EV market has driven down the price of EVs, making them more affordable.
While EVs are touted as environmentally friendly, and while there is truth to this, the reality is much more complex. Like car manufacturing, building EVs requires significant amounts of energy and raw materials. However, rare earth metals, like lithium, are needed for the batteries that EVs run on. The mining and extraction of rare earth metals can have significant environmental impacts, such as habitat destruction and water pollution. Furthermore, the disposal of old or damaged batteries poses a challenge regarding proper recycling and waste management. Therefore, assessing the overall environmental impact of EVs and ways to mitigate this is crucial.
Australia faces several hurdles on its path to embracing this new automotive technology. The lack of charging infrastructure, limited range, pricing implications, and environmental concerns raise questions about Australia’s readiness for mass adoption of EVs. Australia needs to join the electric vehicle revolution, but it also needs to address these challenges and find viable solutions.
Are you ready for Australia to be more Electric Vehicle focused? Are there other energy options, such as hydrogen? Are you willing to purchase and adapt to the EV lifestyle? Let us know.