Why the word on the street is electric

Posted on 09 May 2019

Let’s face it ­– we are a plug-in society. Plug in your laptop to connect to the world. Plug in earphones to escape it. Plug in to communicate, entertain and cook. So why not plug in to drive too?

While we may still be galaxies away from George Jetson’s flying car, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining huge popularity on our roads. Globally, it’s estimated that around half a million will be sold this year alone, compared to only a handful a few years ago. The recent launch of Tesla’s Model 3 proves the growing interest, with 325 million pre-orders in the first week.

The spark is strong in Australia too, with EVs expected to represent almost half of new car sales by 2030. And the Eastern Suburbs is tipped to be a hotspot. In a recent Council survey of over 400 locals from Woollahra, Randwick and Waverley, 65 per cent of respondents said they’d consider buying an EV.

Soon we’ll be spoilt for choice. Every major car maker has either introduced or is developing EVs. Even the tech giants like Apple and Google are vying for some skin in this game.

So, what’s the big deal? Let’s cruise through the three top reasons why your next set of wheels should be an EV.

1. Good for the hip pocket

An EV’s running costs (3c/km) is less than half those of conventional cars (around 10c/km), saving an average household a couple of thousand dollars each year in fuel. Plus there’s the bonus of lower maintenance costs (30 per cent) due to fewer moving parts.

For electric car owner Pip Willis from Clovelly, “the fact that it is much cheaper to run and almost service free” made it a very easy purchase decision. Sweeter still, the upfront costs are starting to match petrol guzzlers.

2. Quiet and easy

Move aside rev-heads, EVs are blissfully noise-free. “Electric driving is so quiet and smooth – it’s like gliding”, said Gail Broadbent from Queens Park about her Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.  

Plus it’s super convenient to charge up. She said, “we would never go back to an ordinary car – recharging overnight at home is so easy and cheap.

3. Good for the planet

Transport is responsible for almost one-quarter of emissions in the Eastern Suburbs, and the main cause of air pollution in Sydney. And that stinks. Literally.

With no air pollutants and the potential to be powered by renewable energy, EVs are driving on the right side of Earth’s future. “We fell in love with the idea of a car that ran only on sun and wind power,” said Nissan Leaf owner John Blackmore, of Randwick. Even when grid-powered, EVs emit 22 per cent less carbon emissions.

It’s for all these reasons that Waverley Council has invested in two EVs to make its fleet more sustainable and cost-effective. And why, with Randwick and Woollahra councils, we’re working to make the region EV-ready, with five new public charging stations soon to be available for EV users in Bondi Beach, Double Bay and Randwick. 

Stay tuned for more plug-in fun.

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