It is very pleasing that Josh Frydenberg is talking of a bright future for electric cars (More than electric dreams, The Age, January 13). He cites three reasons for the low take-up of electric cars in Australia (high purchase price, low range, and lack of infrastructure). There are at least two other reasons. The price of electricity has increased by 126% in the past ten years, while the price of motor fuel has risen by only 3% and no doubt drivers are expecting more steep price increases for electricity in the future. In addition, the vast majority of electricity is produced by burning coal, so recharging the battery will still result in carbon dioxide emissions. What is needed is a plan to generate significantly more renewable energy at cheaper prices and to stop blaming renewable energy for electricity price rises. Only then will electric cars become more than an electric dream.
The above is my original letter to The Age, which was published on January 17 2018. The published letter was edited because the 3% increase in the price of automotive fuel over the past 10 years, while true, was considered to be unbelievable. The price index fell during 2015 and 2016 which compensated for rises before and since.
There is another reason for resistance to electric cars, in Australia and elsewhere. The batteries do not charge as quickly as filling a tank with petrol or diesel. New technology, probably in the form of super-capacitors may fix that problem in the future.