‘We need to use more re­new­able en­ergy to cut C02 emis­sions’ Elec­tric era has new set of is­sues

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE.COM.AU - Mark Hinch­liffe

ELEC­TRIC ve­hi­cles are a new phe­nom­e­non rais­ing a host of is­sues we have not had to con­front with con­ven­tional cars.

Th­ese in­clude recharg­ing in­fra­struc­ture, the abil­ity of the elec­tric­ity grid to cope, the cost of run­ning and main­tain­ing the ve­hi­cle and the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact.

To help con­vey the whole-of-life im­pact of EVs on the com­mu­nity, Mit­subishi Motors Aus­tralia has in­vited Dr Peter Pud­ney along to its na­tional brief­ing road­show for the in­tro­duc­tion of their i-MiEV.

Dr Pud­ney is se­nior re­search fel­low in ap­plied math­e­mat­ics at the Uni­ver­sity of South Aus­tralia and has re­searched the im­pact of EVs on CO2 emis­sions and the elec­tric­ity grid.

Dr Pud­ney drives a Peu­geot 206, sup­ports the in­tro­duc­tion of EVs for en­vi­ron­men­tal rea­sons and be­lieves the elec­tric­ity grid can cope with the de­mands of charg­ing the ve­hi­cles.

He says EVs at present have a range of about 100-200km but be­lieves this is more than enough for most ur­ban mo­torists.

His re­search shows that in Ade­laide, 98 per cent of all daily travel is less than 100km and th­ese trips rep­re­sent 92 per cent of the daily dis­tance cov­ered.

In Syd­ney, 87 per cent of trips are less than 100km, rep­re­sent­ing 59 per cent of the daily dis­tance trav­elled.

‘‘Some peo­ple will reg­u­larly drive more than 100km and some will hardly ever drive 100km,’’ he says.

‘‘Most house­holds have more than one car. ‘‘One of those cars could be an EV.’’ Dr Pud­ney says a shift to EVs us­ing cur­rent avail­able power would not sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce CO2 un­til more use was made of re­new­able en­ergy.

Un­der cur­rent elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion out­put, each state pro­duces a dif­fer­ent level of CO2 emis­sions per kilo­watt/hour.

Ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Cli­mate Change, Tas­ma­nia, with its high level of hy­dro­elec­tric gen­er­a­tion, has a low level of 0.24g of CO2 per kW/h. The high­est is Vic­to­ria at 1.35g/kW/h.

Oth­ers are: North­ern Ter­ri­tory 0.79, South Aus­tralia 0.92, West­ern Aus­tralia 0.94, Queens­land 1.01 and NSW and ACT 1.07.

Dr Pud­ney says that EVs would pro­duce dif­fer­ent lev­els of CO2 de­pend­ing on their state.

The high­est level would be in Vic­to­ria (120-270g/km), fol­lowed by NSW (130-220), Queens­land (125/210), WA (120-190), SA (120-180), NT (100-160) and Tas­ma­nia (25-45).

This com­pares with the new car av­er­age of about 235g/km and the best petrol car of about 110g/km.

‘‘The mes­sage is don’t aban­don clean cars; aban­don dirty en­ergy,’’ Dr Pud­ney says.

He be­lieves the cur­rent na­tional elec­tric­ity grid could cope even if all ur­ban ve­hi­cles be­came EVs, so long as recharg­ing was done at low de­mand times.

‘‘The elec­tric­ity in­dus­try has strug­gled to cope with the de­mand from the ex­plo­sion in our com­mu­nity of air­con­di­tion­ing units and now it is faced with the com­ing EV revo­lu­tion,’’ he says.

‘‘We have the peaki­est en­ergy de­mand in the world.

‘‘Power de­mand drops dra­mat­i­cally overnight, so we would need to charge EVs at night.

‘‘All state elec­tric­ity grids could cope at low peak times as they have the spare ca­pac­ity.

‘‘How­ever, we would have to gen­er­ate 11 per cent more elec­tric­ity to cope.’’

Dr Pud­ney says the an­swer

is ‘‘smart-charg­ing’’ sys­tems that cal­cu­late how much power to sup­ply and when to charge.

‘‘It could be as sim­ple as a timer switch,’’ he says.

‘‘Elec­tric­ity gen­er­at­ing com­pa­nies can now re­motely switch on and off our hot wa­ter sys­tems, so why not our EV charg­ing out­lets?’’

Mit­subishi Motors Aus­tralia cor­po­rate af­fairs vice-pres­i­dent Paul Steven­son says he doesn’t be­lieve recharg­ing in­fra­struc­ture will be a hur­dle to the in­tro­duc­tion of EVs.

‘‘We have grown used to plug­ging in our mo­bile phones at the end of each day,’’ he says.

‘‘EVs will be the same. Fleets might want to have a fast charger at their site to top up ve­hi­cles dur­ing the day, but it’s not crit­i­cal for home use.

‘‘The need for a pub­lic recharg­ing in­fra­struc­ture will re­duce as bat­tery tech­nol­ogy im­proves.’’

Dr Pud­ney says the cost of run­ning an EV would be about 4-6¢/km, which is no more ex­pen­sive than run­ning the most fru­gal of petrol cars and sub­stan­tially less than the av­er­age cost of run­ning a new car, which is about 11¢/km.

Steven­son says ser­vic­ing costs also will be min­i­mal, al­though they haven’t pro­duced a ser­vic­ing sched­ule for the i-MiEV yet. ‘‘They don’t re­quire all that much; no oil, no tune up, no oil fil­ter,’’ he says.

‘‘Brakes and air­con­di­tion­ing are the main ser­vic­ing ar­eas.

‘‘Be­cause it runs at less than 330V it doesn’t need to be ser­viced by an elec­tri­cian.’’

Visit: www.au­tocrc.com

CLEAN CARS: Dr Peter Pud­ney, of the Uni­ver­sity of South Aus­tralia, is re­search­ing the ef­fect of elec­tric ve­hi­cles on the com­mu­nity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.