“We’ll rise from around $1.84 to $1.90 next week,” Mr Jones said.
“If these prices at the petrol pump are sustained for a longer period, certainly we will have more and more motorists saying, ‘What are the alternatives? Where can I go to to get my cost of transport down?'”
What’s the cost of converting?
A full conversion costs about $20,000, but Mr Lunn says it all depends on the type of car and how much range the driver needs.
“Long range means lots of batteries, short range means fewer batteries,” he said.
A typical overnight charge would generate enough to power the car for 120-150 kilometres, but charging stations spread across the east coast could easily power a car from Brisbane to Cairns.
“The biggest problem we have is if you want to head out west,” Mr Lunn said.
Busy as a bumblebee
Some cars in Mr Lunn’s workshop would otherwise be destined for landfill, like the Kia Rio “bumblebee” that was written off with a busted engine.
Mr Lunn picked it up for $1,000 and says it will run for five to 10 years before it needs a battery upgrade.
With a full workshop, a long waitlist, and a shortage of skilled labour, conversions are taking between four and six weeks to complete.
“We’re getting busier and busier,” Mr Lunn said.
“To do a job like this, you’ve got to have mechanical ability, machining skills, welding skills, auto-electrical skills and CAD — computer aided drafting.”