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Electric vehicles just around the corner

Published 20 Nov 2019
Electric vehicles just around the corner

Tasmania’s transition to electric vehicles is well under way, observes Anthony Broese van Groenou.

As part of his PhD with the University of Tasmania, he undertook a 3-month Australian Postgraduate Research (APR) internship with the Department of Premier and Cabinet's Climate Change Office, RACT and TasNetworks.

The APR program gives PhD students the opportunity to apply their research skills within an industry context. Industry partners receive a rebate from the Australian Government.

“As it turns out, there is a very high interest in electric vehicles given the lower total cost of ownership and maintenance,” he said.

“The State Government has supported a rollout of fast chargers, allowing coverage of the entire state along major routes.

“Many more electric vehicles are available in the market and costs are rapidly falling. There is even a growing second-hand market.”

Electric vehicles not only provide transport – they are also an energy asset – essentially giant batteries on wheels. They could facilitate energy security for the whole country,” Mr Broese van Groenou said.

“They could lessen our dependence on oil imports, reduce emissions and, if properly coordinated, provide energy grid balance and security.

“We need to know what the uptake of electric vehicles looks like so we can predict the additional demand on electricity across the grid and the localised demand at peak charging times.

“Networks, policy makers and energy regulators will need to plan for this increase in demand.”

So far, the survey has had over 700 participants from all over Tasmania. Participants have shared their driving patterns, motivations for purchasing an electric vehicle and how they would charge an electric vehicle if they owned one.

The survey is open to the public until 1st December 2019 at: surveymonkey.com/r/TasElectricVehicleSurvey

To be eligible, you must be over 18 years of age and drive in Tasmania. Participants will have the chance to win accommodation at RACT destinations and Woolworths wish cards.

PhD candidates wanting to pursue an industry-focused internship should contact APR via aprintern.org.au/.

Listen to Anthony on ABC radio (39:05 minutes in)