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Charging ahead to an electric future

Anthony Weinberg is the driving force behind the Eastern Suburbs Public Electric Vehicle Charging Station Network - the first network of its type in Sydney.

The Regional Environment Program Manager at Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick Councils, Anthony is a bold EV advocate.

“EVs are more convenient, they are cleaner and quieter, and they can save the average Australian driver around $1,000 each year on fuel costs.”

Battery and fuel cell EVs have zero tailpipe emissions, they are low maintenance, safe and convenient. The best advertisement for an EV is to drive one and feel the difference.”

The NRMA have estimated that it costs the equivalent of only 33 cents per litre to charge an electric car.

Savings make dollars and sense

Australians purchased 6,900 electric cars last year, a 2.7% increase on 2019, according to the Electric Vehicle Council. Electric cars account for just 0.7% of total car sales. In comparison, 1.3 million EVs were sold in China, the world’s biggest EV market.

EVs are undoubtedly better for the environment. Transport emissions are responsible for 22% of the councils’ collective greenhouse gas emissions across the region, Anthony says, making EVs one of six strategies in the Eastern Suburbs Low Carbon Future Plan.

“Based on the current uptake of EVs, we can reduce our communities’ greenhouse gas emissions by 6%. It’s a pretty significant saving.”

An even bigger saving is in store for consumers. EVs can save the average Australian driver around $1,000 each year on fuel costs. As the world’s largest car companies phase out combustion vehicles, the Electric Vehicle Council and other leading experts expect EVs will be cheaper than petrol or diesel equivalents in less than five years.

Key statistics

  • $1,000 in running cost savings each year
  • 56% of Australians would consider an EV the next time they purchase a vehicle
  • Zero direct carbon emissions or pollutants harmful to human health

Source: DPIE and Electric Vehicle Council

EV upgrade delivers sustainability uplift

Aside from pricing, the main barrier preventing large scale uptake of EVs in Australia is access to charging infrastructure, and the resulting driver “range anxiety”, or the fear that an EV has insufficient range to reach its destination.

“The average resident in the Eastern suburbs drives less than 40 kilometres a day,” Anthony explains. “Most of the people who use our network just need to top their EV up when they are out doing a bit of shopping or visiting the beach.”

The fast-charging stations take less than 15 minutes to recharge the average daily drive, and are powered by 100% renewable energy, Anthony adds. In two years, the Eastern Suburbs EV network has offset 33,000 kilowatt hours of electricity – the equivalent to nearly 95,000 kilometres of travel.

“The number of people charging their EVs through our network has increased tenfold in just two years. Major incentives are on the way from the NSW Government and councils are stepping up to support the transition to EVs. Change will happen quicker than people think – within one upgrade cycle.”

NSW will be the easiest place to buy and use an electric vehicle (EV) in Australia, with a $131 million investment to develop a world-class charging network . Under the NSW Electric Vehicle Strategy, this investment will expand existing public fast charging across the State.

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We all have a role to play in building a thriving, healthy and prosperous future. Together we can support our champions, and learn from their stories of action and change.

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