National Electric Vehicle Strategy

Sticking to the vehicle only topic - we do know enough! Per the US NTSB petrol powered vehicles and petrol powered hybrid vehicles are more likely to catch fire than any BEV.

As an aside there are a number of rechargeable battery technologies that are less prone to catching fires in extreme circumstances. Some of these are better suited to home storage. It’s also possible we need to better educate users to improve safe use and management.


I’ve never had a good explanation for what “world’s best practice” means.

It’s bandied around relentlessly in all manner of circles, but it’s a dangerous claim, IMHO. How do you prove that it’s the “best”? Is second best ever good enough? Whose criteria applies? How would a court interpret “world’s best practice”?

Various Australian institutions claim to follow “best practice” or “world’s best practice”. Optus and Medicare would have probably told us they followed “best practice” guidelines for their security. They plainly did not. It’s BS designed to con people. The term was probably first coined by a US high priced consulting company, referring to its own analysis of whatever, with an ambit claim of following “world’s best practice”.

The government should require compliance with accepted safe practices, verified by standards authorities, first and foremost, and commit to continuous improvement in safety and environmental metrics. That means the government needs to work with international bodies, e.g. Euro NCAP, ETSC, US NTSB and set guidelines for that include recycling the battery waste that currently mostly ends up in landfill here. Li-ion is dangerous waste, and it can almost all be recycled into new Li-ion battery products.

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Most of the price of an EV is battery cost. Current technology for EVs is all Li-ion battery based (AFAIK).

In Australia, range anxiety is real for most buyers of EVs. Li-ion performance declines to some degree with battery age, and Li-ion waste, unless recycled (which it is well suited to), it ends up in landfill - which is the case for 90% of Australian waste Li-ion, according to a CSIRO study from a couple of years back.

An EV strategy should include a Li-ion battery recycling strategy. In Australia, ~99% of lead acid batteries are recycled at their end of life. 10% of dangerous landfill Li-ion is not good enough.

I don’t know if it’s still running, but there was an initiative in France for small battery trailer rentals for long range driving. It looked like a good idea for Australian driving distances. The trailers are swapped over at service points, where they can be swapped for fresh ones and recharged - ideally on solar or wind power.

There’s also a crossover to home battery integration with such batteries. Vehicle manufacturers want you to spend your money with them. It’s in their interests to have the most proprietary technology possible, so that you have an exit cost barrier. If you only occasionally need long range travel, you need a car for everyday use with long range batteries - unless you have a hook on option. That hook-on option could be used to allow you to run your home off-grid, if well designed and integrated. When no-one’s home for a week or two, you only need to run a fridge and maybe a security system and/or gardening system. You need enough fixed battery backup to keep those systems up at night. When you’re home, you plug in the trailer, and you charge it for free. Your EV would only need enough dedicated batteries for normal driving range rather than the exceptional long trip. That’s likely a lot less weight, and a lot better use.

If you want to tow something else (boat or caravan), you probably need a different capability.

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So far, batteries have not worked for heavy vehicles, especially transport vehicles. At best, they can be used in hybrids. The physics of heavy vehicles simply precludes it. To carry a ~half tonne load in a small car around 400 klms, you probably need around 70 kwh battery pack, (at a guess). A large car, weighs more, and needs bigger batteries to do the same job. 100 kwh of batteries and management systems might weigh 500 kg or more. A 60 kwh system might weigh under 400 kg.

We’re going to need more than simply battery powered vehicles. They will probably work for transporting people. We’ve run electric trams and trains for a long time. Plenty of cities ran electric trolley buses too.

We can’t continue running fossil fuel systems. The unfunded liability is causing increasing problems.

I made a mistake with this. Currently only 10% of Li-ion batteries in Australia are recycled at end of life, and it’s done overseas. 90% goes into landfill. That’s a recipe for disaster.


Whilst we burn coal to make electricity, in this state anyway, what is the point?

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  1. Not all electrical generation is from coal. Depending on which state and time of day.
  2. BEV owners can choose when to charge a vehicle, including from renewable generation.
  3. The efficiency of a modern power station burning coal is several times greater than that of a petrol or diesel powered vehicle. While it’s not ideal a BEV relying on coal generation offers a lower carbon and environmental footprint compared to petrol or diesel.
  4. For those who have rooftop solar PV recharging your vehicle at home is one more way to take value from the investment.
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An EV fully charged with coal generated electricity produces only a fraction of the greenhouse gasses of a petrol vehicle, due to the massively improved efficiency of the electric motor compared to ICE.

Plus as mark_m pointed out, the fossil fuel component of our electricity is rapidly declining. I would be surprised if it is more than 10% by the end of the decade, provided we can keep the Nationals out of power.

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And yet there are companies in Australia setting up to converting heavy trucks to BEV. These vehicles are charged by swapping the battery packs, rather than plugging in. Some other countries are more advanced. Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t happen.

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What fraction?

This estimate for the USA is interesting. It would be good to see the same for the states of Oz, or even an aggregate.

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What are you comparing?

If you’re saying that the battery stored energy converts more efficiently to usable power in an EV motor than the chemically stored energy in petrol converts to usable power in an ICE, then fair enough.

If you’re saying that the chemical energy in coal converts to usable power in an EV motor via conversion to steam powered generator plus transmission over wires plus conversion over an inverter into battery storage (and including the aggregate energy losses and unused power), I’d be doubtful. If its wind or solar powered energy in the battery, then the losses don’t matter so much, because the emissions don’t equate.

The EV heavy vehicle battery module concept is similar to the EV car trailer battery range extenders. The challenge for both is having charging capability in Australia’s more remote areas.

In France (where I currently am) electric bikes and scooters are the preferred commuter vehicles. This helps the less wealthy too.


Worldwide sales of EV’s continue to increase. Other nations have positive policies to support EV’s.

The most significant market has been China. Constructively it allows a more diverse range of vehicles compared to say Australia where every vehicle (Aust Posts trikes an exception) must be capable of operating at 110kph in mixed traffic including B-doubles with a GML of up to 62t.

In China, electric cars are typically smaller than in other markets. This, alongside lower development and manufacturing costs, has contributed to decreasing the price gap with conventional cars. In 2021, the sales-weighted median price of EVs in China was only 10% more than that of conventional offerings, compared with 45-50% on average in other major markets.

It would assist BEV uptake if the National Vehicle Strategy recognised that for more local use vehicles of less weight (lesser battery power required) with a 50/60 kph top speed can meet daily driving needs. The ideal and lower cost second vehicle. IE include a policy directive to change the ADRs and introduce an intermediate class of lower cost light weight BEV’s for use on the local road network.

Current ADR’s do not consider energy efficiency, or cost effectiveness as worthwhile outcomes. On one hand they deliver bloated heavy 4 wheeled passenger vehicles most often used by only one or two occupants to a universal and very onerous minimum standard. On the other the ADRs provide for and permit light weight and comparatively highly dangerous open 2/3 wheeled vehicles for the use of 1+1 occupants. EG Bikes and Trikes.

It’s a more than dubious double standard that excludes any intermediate class of light passenger vehicle - EG Golf Buggy on steroids from public road use. Note in some states even a battery standup powered scooter is permitted unregistered on 50kph signed roadways.


Why cant electric vehicles be equipped so that they can be recharged from an ordinary 240V socket or a 3 phase outlet? Is it so recharging can be made to be a profit making thing?

Some can be but they require special cables/adapters (which may need to be an accessory purchased for the particular vehicle).

The problem with 240V 10A power points which are common in the home is time to charge. It can take a day or more for a vehicle to be fully charged from such power points.

If you have a 20A or 30A power point in convenient location, these can be used and will reduce charging times (by around half to a third respectively).

In relation to EVs, Volkswagen and German company Kraftwerk Tubes has been working outside the public eye in relation to hydrogen fuel cells:

One of the claims that HFC cars won’t be seen on roads is their cost. The recent patented technology substantially reduces HFC vehicle costs and the industry is indicating that it is likely to bring purchase price of HFC vehicles in line with BEVs, if not cheaper.

VW (along with many other manufacturers) has also indicated that it will be continuing research and prototyping of passenger cars with the aim to move to full production in coming years.

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Oh I do love patent applications. So much better than actual real world solutions and products that are on the road right now.

Of course you can charge from home.

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Thanks phb. I wonder how charging time would be using 415V 3 phase power which is very common. I have it connected at home.


There are three phase chargers (look like this) which are available for EVs. These have three phave input to the charger and higher capacity (current) outputs which will make the charging faster (about 3 times) than an equivalent voltage single phase. A three phase charger will come at a cost (starting at about $2000 installed) to those who decide to install them at their home/place of work.

I am not aware of a vehicle having the ability to directly into mains three phase outlet (without going through a charger), but other members may be aware if this is possible with any models currently available.

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Usually very fast if connected to 415 volts (3 phase at 22 kW) roughly charges the battery with 130 km of range per hour. So a car with a range of say 600 km on a full charge, would take about 4 1/2 hours to charge from a fully discharged battery. However a typical day of usage for most people would not lead to a full discharge and so recharges would typically only amount to a couple of hours at most. How often do most people travel over 260 km per day? Range anxiety in these circumstances is just fear without any basis. Sure if a long distance drive every day may require some more thought about suitability but most people do not do this day in, day out.


“ Approximate charging speed: 40km added per hour (single-phase) or 130km per hour (three-phase).

A Level 2, single-phase, 7kW charger, will add up to 40km of range each hour. A three-phase, 22kW charger, adds up to 130km of range each hour. Check your electric vehicle specs, because some cannot invert the higher AC power quickly enough.”