Queensland has told the Senate enquiry into electric vehicles it aims to be at the forefront of EV adoption in Australia, outlining how it will get there and what the benefits will be – including less deaths from pollution and the birth of a home-grown and profitable EV industry.
The State’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) revealed in a submission to the committee, sitting in Brisbane on Thursday, that an EV charged on Queensland’s current electricity grid, emits around 25 per cent less pollution than an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle.
Queensland is working towards a target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030, and the MTR says this means emissions will only improve, with electric vehicles set to be a big part of the jigsaw.
“As Queensland decarbonises our electricity network, EVs can help support this transition by providing a product that can match peak energy supply with peak demand,” said the TMR’s submission to the enquiry.
“EVs can be charged (and store excess power) outside of peak production and in the future may even be able to export electricity back to the grid on demand.”
The government department also pointed out that EVs improved the way the electricity grid was used.
“They (EVs) are likely to be charging when demand is low, such as the middle of the day or overnight. Queensland’s electricity network is working to be suitably prepared to support the opportunity that the potential uptake of EVs can provide for grid utilisation.”
Electric vehicles also reduce the EV owner’s transport costs. “An EV is significantly cheaper to refuel, costing the equivalent of approximately $0.50 per litre. In addition, EVs have few moving parts and need less consumables, making servicing generally less expensive.”
And the transition to EVs is also about jobs’ growth, says TMR.
The Queensland Government has invested $2.5 million in Tritium, a recognised world leader in EV charging infrastructure, and Clenergy Team Arrow to establish a solar-electric car manufacturing hub, and there is also the substantial $3.1 million investment to fund a feasibility study for a lithium-ion battery factory in Townsville.
The TMR also pointed out electric vehicles could reduce oil dependency.
“Queensland, like Australia, is highly reliant on imported oil for our transport needs. This leaves our economy exposed to risks such as disrupted supply and price fluctuations. Conversely, Queensland is completely self-reliant in terms of electricity energy production.”
There are also public health benefitd, says TMR, pointing to the fact here are re deaths each year due to pollution than there are due to vehicle accidents.
“In Australia, it is estimated that 42 per cent more premature deaths (1715) occur each year due to motor vehicle pollution, compared to road accidents (1205). As EVs produce no tailpipe pollution, they will improve air quality, especially in our urban areas and in turn improve public health.”
Tony Bosworth writes for www.TheDriven.io and RenewEconomy.com.au. He has 35 years experience in journalism, and has been instrumental in launching and editing several automotive magazines including Which Car? magazine in the UK.