I have just read that one in five EV (electric vehicle) owners in California have switched back to a fossil fuel powered vehicle because of charging problems.
EVs may well work well in the likes of Europe where most places are connected to the grid. That enables the possibility of Fast Charge stations being built so that charging and range anxiety can be minimised.
Compare that situation to Australia. We have vast areas of Australia that are not connected to the grid. I note that even a trip that one would consider is in perhaps a connected part of Australia – a trip from Perth to Kalgoorlie (around 690km) took two days with an EV whilst it is just a day trip with a fossil fuel vehicle followed by a refuel of perhaps five minutes.
Using solar for powering up EVs will not work on a commercial basis. EV battery sizes are in the range of 30kVhr to 84kVhr. That is between three and seven times the capacity of a household solar system.
If one decides to travel from Adelaide to Darwin, once you leave Port Augusta most of the service centres rely on fossil fuel generators and they do not have the capacity to provide the substantial power source for fast EV chargers.
What time penalty will the EV user need to consider to get the charge they are needing?
Hydrogen power is a green energy source which offers much of the flexibility of fossil fuels, so it is a more likely option for Australia to power its vehicle fleet.
It is likely that remote service centres can even generate their own Hydrogen utilising solar and wind energy.
However, Australia is still likely to need a fossil fuel fleet for a fair runway into the future.
Be careful about the climate warriors calls for a reduction in the carbon dioxide levels – they appear to ignore these facts about the needs of Australians who are not connected to the grid.
Lindsay Love, engineer, Leongatha.