Advocating change

Our future is electric

Low and zero emission vehicles include battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), which are powered by electricity, and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) powered by hydrogen.

Electric vehicles are on Tasmanian roads right now and they will only continue to increase in numbers over the coming years.

This is due to the environmental benefits they will provide in the future, including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. This is particularly true in Tasmania, where our renewable energy is used to power such vehicles. 

However, we need to overcome some key obstacles first.

The barriers to BEV uptake in Tasmania include purchase price, a limited selection and range of models, a low number of public charging stations, long charging times and a lack of awareness.

We believe these roadblocks will be overcome in the not too distant future, giving more choice to you, the driver. 

With that in mind, let's talk through some of the common questions and concerns related to electric vehicles.

BEVs vs PHEVs vs FCEVs

Battery electric vehicles are powered by connecting to a charging station, which provides electricity that is stored in batteries. They produce no tailpipe emissions. 

However, while PHEVs use batteries to power an electric motor, they also use petrol or alternative fuel to power an internal combustion engine. These batteries can also be charged.

Fuel cell electric vehicles run through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen that releases electricity to power an electric drive-train. 

How many electric vehicles are in Tasmania? 

As of November 2019, there were 158 BEVs and 44 PHEVs registered in Tasmania, less than 1% of the state's passenger vehicle market.

How much do they cost?

There are a number of cost-related barriers surrounding battery electric vehicles in Australia.

This includes high upfront costs associated with manufacture, specifically lithium battery production, and a lack of government support relating to lowering vehicles taxes.

In early 2020, there were 28 electric vehicle models on the Australian market. 12 were BEVs and 16 were PHEVs. In total, 21 of these cost more than $65,000. 

There are around another 10 battery electric vehicles expected to reach Australia by the end of 2020, most of which will be over the $65,000 price tag, as well as several other plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

However, while BEVs have a higher purchase price than traditional vehicles, their respective costs are expected to be equal by the mid-2020s. They also have much lower lifetime running costs. 

What battery range do EVs have?

The range of BEVs varies from 100km to 500km, depending on the size of the battery.

How many chargers are in Tasmania?

There are around 50 public sites available in Tasmania. Of these, just four are fast chargers, including one ultra-fast site near Launceston.

While it is expected that 90% of charging will be done at home, it is still important to have a public network.

This is why the Tasmanian Government has contributed funding to support the roll-out of a statewide fast charging network in 2020. These should be in place by 2021. You can see where the chargers are going here.

How long does it take to recharge and how much does it cost? 

This depends on the charger used and the vehicle. Charging times vary from 2-30 hours for slow chargers and 8-90 minutes for fast or ultra-fast chargers - all depending on charger power and battery size. 

It's estimated that charging costs between $4 and $25 for a full charge, depending on the power and speed of the charger, battery size, how much charge is left and electricity prices. 

Other forms of low and zero emission transport include:

  • Electric public transport, including electric buses, trams or trackless trams, light rail or trains, ferries and boats.
  • Electric micro-mobility transport, such as e-bikes, e-scooters and e-skateboards, which improve transport access and congestion, while reducing a reliance on vehicles. s.