Tuesday 6 June 2023

Someone is eating Tesla's lunch

 Living in rural Australia, I have some doubts about electric cars.

The distances are greater, and charging infrastructure is poorer, but ignoring farm trucks and people who live in the deep outback, like the NT, I'd guess that most people's regular journeys are less than 300km. 

Most electric cars will do that comfortably on a full charge, meaning that they can be charged at home overnight.

(We already have a local electrician advertising that they install home chargers, just as they install heat pumps and air conditioning units.)

As a thought experiment I drew a 100km circle round Beechworth

I chose a 100km circle because (a) that was one of the options available, and (b) that gives us a fairly generous margin of error for wiggles and climbs into the Alps which will use more power.

And guess what, most of the places I might want to go are inside that circle, or damned close to it.

Where the problem comes is the odd extra out of band journey, and I suspect we'll go through a transition phase where households maintain two cars, an electric car and an older petrol one for long journeys.

Certainly, it's probably what we would do, even though our 600km journey last weekend from Port Fairy to home would have been doable in an EV as there's a charging station roughly halfway in Creswick.

Given that most rural households already have two cars due to poor public transport outside of the cities, it's not that difficult to imagine.

So looking at our local supermarket car park what do we see? We are in the early stages of the transition, but it is beginning to happen and EV's are not the rarity they were eighteen months ago

Well, there's the occasional Tesla, just as there's the occasional BMW and Merc.

But it's more common to see electric MG's, Hyundai Ioniqs and Konas, plus I've just seen my first BYD. There's also the occasional grey market second hand import from Japan - usually a Nissan Leaf.

In other words, when there is a widespread changeover to electric cars, it won't necessarily be to Tesla or any of the traditional manufacturers ...

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