Buying an electric vehicle – and pairing it with a household rooftop solar and battery storage system – is already a no-brainer for Australian consumers, according to new analysis – assuming, of course, that you can find an EV to buy in the first place.

The analysis from Accenture and financial services firm Plenti says that EVs are already competitive with ICE cars (those burning petrol or diesel in internal combustion engines) over a 15-year period. But if powered by rooftop solar, buying an EV is clearly a cheaper option.

“Households that can install a solar and battery system, combining EVs with solar and a battery could save thousands of dollars over 15 years compared to owning an ICE car and using grid power,” the report says.

“Most people believe EVs are more expensive over their lifecycle than internal combustion vehicles – especially if they’ll be charging their EV from the grid,” says Plenti CEO Daniel Foggo.  “This perception remains a key reason why many people are yet to make the switch to electric.

“However, this perception is no longer accurate. Our study reveals that EVs are now cost-competitive with conventional cars over their lifecycle if charged from the grid. Even better, households charging their EV from a home solar-battery system can expect to save up to $12,000 over a 15-year period.

“Switching to an EV is now a no-brainer for most Australians.”

t should be said that the assumptions made by the report are pretty conservative. It assumes annual kms travelled of no more than 12,000kms. (This author has done 80,000 kms in 30 months in his EV, and most people looking at an EV are likely to have higher usage than that assumed).

It also bases its calculations on a petrol price of $1.60 a litre, and most consumers are paying around $2 a litre now. And it assumes that most ICE cars consume no more than 7 litres of fuel per 100kms, which sounds pretty optimistic.

NOTE: COST SAVING IS ACHIEVED BY SWITCHING TO AN EV FROM AN ICE PETROL CAR AND ADDING A 6.6KW SOLAR PV AND 12KWH BATTERY STORAGE SYSTEM. SEE APPENDIX FOR ADDITIONAL ASSUMPTIONS. (PLEASE CLICK ON TABLE TO EXPAND). SOURCE: ACCENTURE ANALYSIS.

That then, suggests that the savings are likely to be even greater.

One interesting point made by the analysis, however, is that there are big savings to be made from combining rooftop solar, battery storage and EVs. It says they can save thousands of dollars over 15 years compared to owning an ICE car and using grid power.

“High energy consuming households would save the most, with the average large household in cities and regions estimated to see the largest saving of $12,370 after 15 years of ownership. Two-person households in cities and regions also receive a modest saving of $7,469 after 15 years.

“Modelling suggests that retirees in cities and regions would make a small negative return over 15 years by buying an EV and solar and battery system today. However, this segment would see a positive return once battery prices decline by 2%.”

One of the problems in the Australian market, however, is that it has become increasingly difficult to buy an EV. Some car makers are warning of waiting times of more than a year, and many popular EV models in Europe are simply not available at all in Australia.

Accenture puts the average waiting time for new EVs at 22 weeks, and 27 weeks for premium EVs.

Again, government policy is at fault. The report notes the global semiconductor shortages and supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19, but it also notes car makers are directing EV stock and sales incentives to markets with fleet average emission standards.

Shaun Chau, the head of Accenture sustainability services in Australia, says the report finds that It makes financial sense to own an EV, and that households can increase their long-term savings by adding a home solar and battery system to an EV purchase.”

“With petrol and diesel prices soaring across Australia, EVs offer an increasingly competitive value proposition when compared to combustion engine vehicles. This is largely driven by the lower fuel costs of EVs.

“Pent-up demand for EVs is high in Australia. However, the biggest barrier to EV adoption is upfront affordability. Australians are paying premium prices for EVs. This is due to a lack of subsidies, supply and range of available models when compared to countries with high EV uptake.”

Extracted in full from: Solar-charged electric vehicles already a “no-brainer” for Australian car owners (thedriven.io)

 

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