Why buy an electric car?

Is it time to switch to an electric car? We look at the benefits and what you need to consider before making your electric vehicle purchase.

Energy Progress
4 min read
Whether you’re looking for environmental benefits, or to benefit your back pocket, you’ll find reasons to be happy about getting an electric car.

When we say ‘electric car’, we’re talking about battery-powered electric vehicles or EVs. These cars rely on being charged up to run.

It may surprise you that the concept of an electric vehicle isn’t new, with the first electric cars appearing on American roads as early as the 19th century. Internal combustion engines, fuelled by petrol, took off after shortly after this in the 1920s and quickly became the power source of choice for cars.

Now, with recent advances in electric vehicle battery technology and the rise of lower-cost models, there’s a resurgence in the global electric vehicle market. While uptake isn’t as strong as other countries, owning an electric vehicle in Australia is becoming more achievable.

We unpack some of the reasons why you might consider making your next car an electric vehicle.

Electric cars cost less to run

In general, electric vehicles cost substantially less to fuel (per km) than cars that run using petrol or diesel. They can be as little as one-third of the running cost per 100km, according to a 2019 Federal Government report.

“An EV will cost around three cents per kilometre compared to around 10 cents per kilometre for an ICE equivalent.”

What’s more, running costs will continue to reduce as technology improves. The report estimates that, over a 10-year period, the total cost of owning an EV will be $5,000 less compared to petrol vehicles by 2021, and $11,000 less by 2025. This translates to savings of approximately $1,700 a year by 2030.

Save on maintenance

Electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts than a conventional car. This means increased reliability, and lower ongoing maintenance costs.

With an electric car, there’s no need to change oil, replace belts or flush coolants. You even use the brakes less, because of regenerative braking.

When you drive an electric car, the electric motor slows the car down while adding charge back to the battery. This means that you’re using your brakes less, again saving on running costs. Plus, as an electric car tends to have a single-speed transmission, so there is no clutch to wear out.

Enjoy a different driving experience 

Forget what you know about driving, or being a passenger! Electric cars will change things for you.

Driving on a road along a coastline

An electric vehicle doesn’t emit any exhaust. You won’t feel any vibrations, as there is not combustion engine under the hood. There’s no oil to leak onto your garage floor. And if your car is running, there’s no risk of dangerous carbon monoxide being produced. And with some models, you can even use an app to heat or cool the car before you get in.

Optimise charging with your home solar

If you’re one of the two million (and counting!) Australian households who has installed rooftop solar panels, you already benefit from producing and using the energy you generate. So what happens when you add an electric car into the mix?

If you charge your electric car at home during the day, your electricity running cost will be even less as you’re making the most out of prime solar energy producing hours. Plus, we’ll all benefit because you’ll be charging your electric vehicle from a sustainable energy source.

The choice is yours

The number of electric car makes and models in Australia is growing steadily. And since Tesla’s 2012 launch of their Model S pure Battery Electric Vehicle, electric cars have gotten a lot more stylish too.

Whether you’re looking for something sleek or something to shuttle the family around, you’ll be excited by the range of electric vehicles now available that are more stylish, and more affordable.

A few models we’re excited about include small SUVs the Jaguar I-PACE and Hyundai Kona, the Tesla Model 3, and the Nissan LEAF, which boasts increased battery capacity of the previous model.

The fact is that if you’re going electric, you’ll probably have to purchase new. Most new electric vehicles range from $50,000 to $200,000.

By 2025, it’s estimated that electric cars will cost about the same as a petrol or diesel car.

While this is a little higher than average for some, it’s worth considering the long term running and maintenance costs as part of the bigger picture.

charging electirc car

Ready to buy an electric car?

With the industry evolving at a rapid pace, there are many reasons why an electric car is the right choice for you, and the environment. AGL has an EV plan to help support your electric mobility.

Find out more