There’s a new wave in motoring – electric vehicles are on their way, and they’re better and cheaper than ever. Our neighbours in the ACT have introduced a ban on sales of new fossil fuel light vehicles from 2035, offer a two year registration holiday for new EV sales, and will be charging registration fees based on emissions rather than vehicle weight. The NSW government aims for 50% of new vehicle sales to be EVs by 2030 and has removed stamp duty and provides a $3,000 rebate for new EV car purchases. “I’m seeing a lot more interest in the electric car than I used to,” said SHASA President Kathryn Maxwell, who bought a Nissan Leaf in 2019. “Whenever I stop at the charger, or when SHASA has a stall at the markets, there are lots of people who want to find out more about the Leaf, where you can charge it, what it’s like to drive. The answer is that it is fun to drive, cheap to maintain, and has everything you expect your car to have. It was so easy to make the change!” Andrew Everard is a SHASA member who has enjoyed the EV experience and tells his unique story, as part of the SHASA’s Electric Vehicle Expo and Electrify Everything campaign. The South Coast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) will be running an Electric Vehicle Expo at Corrigans Beach, Batehaven on Saturday 1 October, between 10.00am and 2.00pm. It’s an opportunity to meet local EV owners and talk to retailers of new and used EVs as well as EV bikes, boats, and scooters. You can also test drive the SHASA Nissan Leaf and experience an electric vehicle for yourself. Fiona Phillips MP, the member for Gilmore, will be opening the Electric Vehicle Expo at 11.00am. “It isn’t just cars!” said organiser Andrew Everard, from SHASA’s Electric Vehicle Enthusiasts Eurobodalla (EVEE). “We’ve also approached retailers of electric bikes, boats and scooters. If we’re going to Electrify Everything we should cover the whole range of possibilities!” Switching to an EV saves roughly 3 tonnes C02 each year. Charging it from rooftop solar or other renewable energy sources saves another 4 tonnes of C02 each year. That’s one third of average household emissions gone in a heartbeat. Us and Our LEAF
ANDREA CHARLTON and ANDREW EVERARD (SHASA)
When did you first seriously think about buying an electric car?
We’ve been thinking about electric cars since Jeremy Clarkson first admitted on Top Gear that he was really excited about this new, cool kind of vehicle—it was a Tesla. If a cynical petrol head like Clarkson was getting excited it was time to pay some attention. Then Jack Egan let us have a drive of his Tesla on the way to the Jindabyne EV Day in April and I was hooked.
Kathryn loaned us the SHASA LEAF to visit family in Canberra, and we realised that we could actually manage this. It was just a matter of finding a car to buy as supply was very tight by mid 2022.
What was it that got you excited about the car you chose?
To be honest, we were more keen on the idea of EVs than on this one in particular. Rob Ogilvie from Ion DNA pointed out that this might not be our forever car, but that since it would probably hold its value in the second hand market due to the tight supply we could consider trading it for another car with more range down the track as more choices became available here and waiting times shrank.
What's the best thing about being an EV driver?
Guilt-free motoring. We’ve been more and more concerned about our use of fossil fuels over the last two years. We’ve replaced the gas heating and cooking at home, installed solar panels and batteries, and added more home insulation and better window treatments, but it wasn’t really enough. Now we feel better about our household emissions and are happier to travel to visit family and friends.
What's the best, or funniest, or most memorable comment you've received from someone else?
“You just picked it up this morning and you’re about to drive from Canberra to Noosa. Are you nuts?”
Is there one negative you would like to mention?
Having to stop and charge every 150 km or so is not actually a negative, it’s a great opportunity to rest, re-charge, explore small towns that have fast chargers, and
chat with other EV drivers, and interested motorists. We’ve met some great folks on our travels.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about an EV right now?
Go for it. Every trip in an EV saves on carbon emissions while it saves you money. If you’re planning a serious road trip in Australia, make sure your car is covered by NRMA for roadside assistance and towing. Always (really, always) check in the morning to make sure all the fast chargers you need to visit are in service and that the location isn’t closed at the hours you need. Check the recent user comments. Be prepared to be flexible. And enjoy the experience!