Kona charging at home

Green energy provider Powershop is giving Queensland electric car owners the chance to make huge savings with the introduction of a new “Super Off-Peak” tariff.

Between the hours of 12am and 4am during the week, EV drivers whose homes have a smart meter installed in Queensland will be able to plug their EVs in and recharge them at a rate less than half Powershop’s standard off-peak tariff.

According to Powershop’s rate card, between 12am and 4am, usage charges will be 9.9 cents per kWh compared to its current off-peak rate of 21.18 cents per kWh.

Although Australia is lagging sorely behind the rest of the world in electric vehicle sales, a change is gradually taking place as carmakers introduce more choices of EVs to Australian drivers (up until late 2018 there was not one EV model in Australia with a starting price under $A60,000, but soon there will be at least three).

In 2017, electric vehicle sales increased by 67 per cent from 2016 to 2017 and last year it is believed around 2,700 electric cars were sold in Australia (Tesla does not release sales figures to the FCAI so certain assumption are made in regards to EV sales numbers).

One factor that will encourage further uptake of EVs in Australia centres around cost; although electric cars currently cost more up front than internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalents due to battery prices, the savings made from fewer fuel and maintenance costs can mean the total cost of ownership is less for certain models.

Powershop’s hugely reduced tariff will contribute to this (in Queensland to begin with), meaning more drivers may decide to make the switch to electric if it financially makes sense.

Ed McManus, CEO of Powershop and Meridian Energy Australia says the power company chose introduce the tariff in Queensland first due to its higher uptake of EVs compared to other states.

“We chose to pilot the program in the Sunshine State because we know Queensland has one of the highest electric vehicle adoption rates in the country,” he said in a note by email.

“We hope the launch of our Super Off-Peak tariff will support the growth of electric vehicles and encourage Powershop customers to charge up, instead of filling up.”

With a report from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) in 2018 predicting that by 2030, 22% to 64% of new car sales would be electric – depending on government policy aimed at accelerating uptake – Powershop believes the tariff will help drive Australia towards an electric mobility fuutre.

“Factoring in the forecasting from ARENA, ware determined to be a driving force for greater electric vehicle uptake across Australia.

“We believe in supporting sustainable initiatives to create a better energy future that Australians need and deserve and electric vehicles are another piece of that puzzle.” McManus says.

Powershop will be rolling out the tariff to other Australian states throughout the year.

Further details of the electric vehicle tariff offer from Powershop can be found via its website, and customers who do not have a smart meter installed may be able to apply to Powershop for an installation at no extra cost.

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