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Australia’s travelling towards an electric vehicle future


While the earliest EV models were luxury cars in the top price bracket, it’s now possible to buy a new EV from $40,000.

And with the currently surging petrol prices, the cheaper running costs of EVs are a major enticement to ditch the bowser.

Going the distance for less

Stephen Connor, Managing Director, Volvo Car Australia, uses the comparison of Volvo’s fully electric XC40 Recharge SUV and its petrol driven counterpart, the XC40 R-Design, to illustrate the savings an EV can offer.

“The EV is just a couple of thousand dollars more to buy, with the same top specs as the petrol driven model, and for that you get the added benefit of paying between $35 and $40 for a full recharge, which gives a range of 418 kilometres. That would be about $70 worth of petrol,” he says.

“So, over a period of around five years, you get your investment back.”

And as manufacturers rapidly improve battery technology, the range of EVs is constantly increasing. A cheaper EV can travel around 300 kilometres on one charge, while the more expensive models can travel over 600 kilometres.

Connor says that’s ample distance for many Australians, who travel an average of 36 kilometres a day.

“If you live on the NSW Central Coast, for example, and commute into Sydney, that’s around 150 kilometres and you can get there and back in one charge. You plug the EV in overnight, and you can do that again next day.”

The ever-improving battery life of EVs keeps pace with Aussies on the go. Disclaimer: charging equipment sold separately.Credit:iStock

A lower maintenance lifestyle

EVs are an attractive option for anyone who’s been hit by a hefty maintenance bill from the mechanic.

“An EV has fewer moving parts than a car with an internal combustion engine,” says Connor. “So really the only parts you’ve got to worry about are the tyres, brakes and paintwork.”

The Electric Vehicle Council estimates that EV owners save around $400 per year on maintenance. “All up, EVs are about a fifth of the cost of a petrol or diesel car to run,” says Jafari.

The green credentials of EVs are an undoubted bonus, with their emissions more than 40 per cent lower than those of petrol or diesel cars – a figure that drops to zero if you charge your car from solar energy rather than the electrical grid. EVs also contribute to reducing air pollution, because they don’t produce tailpipe emissions.

But also, says Connor, they’re simply a joy to drive. “I really believe EVs are bringing the fun back to driving,” he says. “We’ve seen even the most dedicated petrol-head converted by EVs. They love the serenity, the speed and the technology.”

And in a digital world, a car that integrates with your AI tech and plugs in to recharge at night – just like your laptop or phone – feels familiar and friendly. “Cleaner, quieter, easier – EVs fit seamlessly into your lifestyle,” says Connor.

Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This is reflected in its ambition to become a fully electric car maker by 2030 and in its commitment to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.

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