Cosmos Briefing – Electric Vehicles

Cosmos Briefing – Electric Vehicles

Welcome to the Cosmos Briefing.nMy name is Professor Alan Duffy, lead scientist of thenRoyal Institution of Australia, an organisation established tonraise awareness of the value and relevance of science andnscientific methods in everyday life. Showing throughnconversation like this and engaging content on social andndigital media with Cosmos, how fundamental science is to ournlives. Now, given its location and area, Australia has annalmost unlimited capacity in sustainable electricity yet thencountry lags by and the rest of the world in electric vehiclenpurchases. As the average new vehicle stays on the road fornnearly 20 years to hit the zero emission target by twentynfifty, we need all new vehicle sales to be only electric byntwenty thirty. We need to get motoring. Why is Australia’snelectric vehicle uptake stuck in the slow lane? What cannwe do to change it as a nation but also as consumers?nJoining us on this road trip to an electric future is GailnBroadbent, doctoral candidate at UNSW working onnovercoming sociotechnical inertia to enhance Australianuptake of electric vehicles or EVs. Formerly a transportnpolicy adviser to the New South Wales government for manynyears. Gail has a Bachelor of Science, deployment education,na Master of environmental management and Master ofnphilosophy bio research. It’s gonna be exciting to see thenpost-nominal PHD added to that exceptional list Gail. Alsonjoining us is Ben Warren who as Nissan Australia’s nationalnmanager for electrification and mobility is charged withndriving Nissan’s local EV strategy as as advocating fornand supporting the role that electric vehicles can playnwithin the broader energy ecosystem. Ben is bothnpassionate and buoyant about the future of motoring. Anfuture which will see changes to how our vehicles are driven,npowered, and integrated into wider society. Now, before wenbegin our discussion today, I’d like to acknowledge thenTraditional Custodians of the land from which I’m joining yountoday. The Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. I wannanpay my respects to the elders past, present, and emerging andnthose respects to all Aboriginal and Torres StraitnIslander peoples wherever you may be watching these uhnbriefings from. Now Ben maybe I’ll throw to you to justnset the scene here in Australia our take up of EVsnare so poor. I can’t even begin to imagine what success looksnlike in other countries. Maybe just give us an overview of ofnwhere we are globally with EVs and and what countries arendoing it right. Yeah thank you. So there’s there’s a fewngood examples in the world and I think the one that getsncalled out the most is Norway. They seem to be the the thenbeacon of EV shining right in the world being the mostnprogressed I guess and last year they they knew vehiclensales were about 75% um plug in so that’s plugin hybrid as wellnas as battery electric most of which were battery electric umnand so far this year it looks like they’re on track to setnanother record there sort of around the low 80% mark so umncertainly moving quite ahead and these are new vehiclensales the average age of a car in in Norway is not justnsimilar to Australia and it’s about eleven years. So rightnnow they’re about 17% of their total market is plugins.nSo that’s that’s you know fairly progressed to what wensee today. UK’s another interesting example. They’venthey’ve shown a pretty big step change in the last twelvenmonths. So they finished 2020 with almost 11% of theirnsales being been again um typed and that’s up on about 3%nthe year before. So a significant step change in thenlast twelve months. So in those types of markets I guess thenconversation’s far more advanced. It doesn’t likenthis strange conversation, this strange thing. What arenyou talking to me about? We see infrastructure obviously morendeveloped for public, for in homes, and and I guessncharging stations and all of the accompanying support isna lot more commonplace. So, it’s the auto automotivenindustry, the energy industry, service stations, like allnof these different business models are adapting andnchanging to cater for this new market. So, it’s no longer thenexception to the rule that is just now business as usual.nIt’s becoming the rule, yeah. Uh Gail, how did thosencountries, you know, we’ve heard of of course Norway, Inthink New Zealand’s another impressive uptake. How donthey achieve these kinds of results? Well, it reallyncomes down to government commitment and government’sncommitting to actually making the transition and by sayingnthat, not only do they signal to the community that we thinknthis is a good idea as a government, we’re going to putnin the policies and fund it as well. So, there are three majornbarriers really to consumers buying electric vehicles. Firstnof all, it’s information. Now, you mentioned New Zealand.nI’ve just finished a big study on New Zealand and I chose thatncountry because they’re quite similar to us in a lot of waysnbut they actually introduced a whole raft of policies backnin 2016 and I thought oh great you know I want to compare whatnthey think so I compared EV owners with ICE, you knowninternal combustion engine vehicle owners compared the twongroups and looked at the difference but the thing that Inwas sort of most surprised at was the lack of knowledge ofnICE vehicle drivers about EVs. Now EVs owners of course you’dnexpect they’d know a lot of things because they’re evennthough they’re far ahead of us they still haven’t reached 2%nof the market yet and so they’re what we would considernearly adopters and so they’re quite enthusiastic know a lotnabout it but I was very surprised that the lack ofnknowledge not only about electric vehicles per se butnabout the policies that the governments actually havenimplemented and so knowledge is a big hurdle for people do Inovercome so they you know in Norway for example about ninetynsomething percent of people know someone who owns annelectric vehicle cause they’re so common so everybody knowsnsomeone and I think it was only 22% of people hadn’t evenngotten in one so all the rest of the people not only knewnsomeone but they’ve been in one so they have a lot morenfamiliarity but the thing that countries like Norway and NewnZealand have done to encourage electric vehicle uptake amongstnordinary people is to make the vehicles cheaper. So the costnis a big barrier because because of the battery pricenthat that’s the biggest contributor to the cost of anvehicle. The battery price is coming down but we stillnhaven’t reached price parity. Because of that people go “ohnthey’re too expensive” and that was by and large what I foundnwith my survey in New Zealand that people just thinknthey’re a great idea. You know they were very positive aboutnthe environmental benefits and all those things but they stillnsaid oh they’re too expensive. So that was the biggestnbarrier. And the other big one is the infrastructurenbecause it is a co-condition. Without the infrastructurenpeople can’t there are two types of trips people make. Sonthey’ve got everyday day to day driving. Most people charge atnhome and that’s certainly the case in Norway and New Zealandnwhere many more than 80% you know people say on averagenaround the world it’s 85% but in those two countries it wasnabout 95% of people are charging at home on a day tonday basis. But it’s the long trips and in fact in Norwaynthey think that it’s the long trips and this being able tonsatisfy enough infrastructure for that that is going to benthe hurdle for that last percentage of people thatnhaven’t taken haven’t taken the plunge yet. So I thinknyou’ve got three factors information. The price of thenvehicles and the infrastructure and if you can’t satisfy allnthose and government policy has to be the way you do thatnthen you’re never gonna get there. We we’ve just donensome modeling about trying to get to net zero emissions byn2050 here in Australia and we did a scenario. We did fivendifferent scenarios and one of them was a business as usual.nAnd we would only get to 27% of the market would be electricnvehicles without any government assistance. If it was just hownit is now and and that’s even assuming that the price of thenvehicles was coming down. Uh so there are a lot of barriers andnand in fact even if you get to that 27% it isn’t going to getnyou to net zero by twenty fifty. In fact it would benworse than it is now because of the growing population and thenincreasing number of vehicles and just the preferences fornlarger vehicles that we have here in Australia. So there’s anlot of barriers and the government is definitelyncentral to being able to overcome those. Okay now looknto you Ben and and the point about that cost of of the EV.nSo you know at what point and what is needed for for a new EVnto reach parity with a conventional new vehicle? Yeahnwell I think there’s lots of different modeling and piecesnof analysis done around the world and and typically younknow all of those models indicate that somewhere in thisndecade we will hit prosperity in the next five 7 years andnand a lot of that comes down to a couple of um factors andnassumptions. Um and and the first one is obviously umnbattery manufacturing and prior is continuing to get better. Sonwhen we first launched the the the Nissan Leaf globally backnin 2010 the cost of a battery back then was was you knownup around the almost $1,000 a kilowatt hour. And now it’sncome right down. And so that obviously helps withnthe manufacturing costs of vehicles and thosenassumptions also assume that the cost of an internalncombustion engine will go up. Tthat’s really aroundnincreasing levels of emissions, stringency, andnrequirements. So, a lot of those assumptions includenmarkets like Europe that have very strict um road mapsntowards CO2 emissions where the cost of a petrol enginenwill actually get more expensive in order to hit thosenrequirements. So, there’s a couple of things that play.nIt’s a really interesting concept to look at because thenfurther you dig into it, there’s all these differentnpieces moving around. Um talk about battery prices comingndown. What we’ve seen so far is yes prices are absolutelyncoming down. The evolution of battery chemistry is getting sonmuch better. Um so we’re getting denser packs where wencan get more kilowatt hours into the same space um and fornthe similar types of money. Um to make them but what that’snsaying today is is bigger packs going into the same cuts. Sonwe’re seeing the range come up um vehicles and that’s to getnaround um things like range anxiety and we talked aboutninfrastructure and those types of things where there’s reallynthis interesting mindset shift where you know, people, one ofnthe biggest barriers and we talk about information andndirection and a lot of those things and they’re absolutelyntrue but when you talk one on one with the customer, one ofnthe biggest things that people have in their heads is aboutnrange and what they need. Um and so, when you think aboutnit, we our whole motoring lives, we’re we’re we’renconditioned to go to the petrol station and put the nozzle innthe in the tank and stand there and hold the handle like anchaperone for the fuel and what should happen? And uh we pay andecent amount of money and drive off. We see in our cars,nwe see five hundred, six hundred, 700 kilometersndistance empty at that point. And that’s a good feelingnbecause that is the longest possible time in which it willntake me to get back to that scenario that I don’t reallynlike. We don’t get excited when the little fuel light comes onnin our car. It’s not a great. I don’t know. I mean, II like tonride dangerously. II get a little buzz from that. See,njust how long can I keep it on there? Well, see, that’s the umnand uh and so really when we think about it that thatn110,700 Ks that’s the that’s the number that we conditionnourselves to see so we think I need 110,700 kilometres um andnwe see that translate straight across into EV expectation um Inguess the fundamental mindset shift is EV’s don’t follow thensame path. So you don’t have to go somewhere to charge and youndon’t need to string it out as long as you possibly can. Um asnGayle mentioned you know a lot of people have 8090 thendifferent the numbers are there. Um do their charging atnhome. So every night when I come home I can plug in and Incan top up my car. It’s the same as my mobile phone. And sonum it becomes less around how many case to a charge and itnbecomes how many kilometers do I need to do in a day. BecausenI can replenish that later. Um and that’s that has anfundamental impact and why I raise that when we talk aboutnprosperity is that assumption has a fundamental impact onnwhen we can hit prosperity. Because if we’re still tryingnto design EVs to get the 130,800 kilometres of charge.nWe need to put bigger batteries in which cost more money. Um ifnif the range expectations is we’ll see different categoriesnof vehicles that have maybe smaller packs that are doing ancouple of hundred kilometres at uh a charge. They will hitnpower far quicker obviously than a bigger pack. Okay nownwe’ve so Gail we we’ve we’ve heard this mentioned now a fewntimes so let’s let’s really um tackle that challenge of of thenbarriers for Australian adoption. The infrastructure’snbeen uh is the classic. We’re a big country. Um I must admitnI’ve driven across it and I lost my mind at one point wherenthere was just a straight road across the Northern Poor fornnearly 200 kilometers. Um it’s it’s unthinkable. I come fromnEurope where this closest town is you know it’s it’s a tennmile journey. So very different use case in Australia versusnEurope is Would you ever get the infrastructure right fornAustralia or or am I being a little too naive and needingncharging stations dotted on every road across the entirencountry? II think it it sort of goes back to what Ben wasnsaying. It’s people’s expectations because when I didnmy survey in New Zealand I specifically and I didninterviews as well as an online um questionnaire. Inspecifically asked them the concept of when they do trips,nlonger trips that are more than let’s say 200 kilometers and Inspecifically asked them about that and I said well how farnwould you go before you stopped and had a break and they allnsaid, oh well, you know, after about two hours, now 2 hours isnroughly 200 kilometers if you’ve got a big open road andnthat’s what you’d want an electric vehicle pack to benable to achieve. It’s getting people’s heads around thenconcept. Well, you’re gonna stop anyway. You’re gonna haventhat coffee or toilet break or stretch your legs or whatever.nMost people do not just keep going. In fact, out of all thenpeople I interviewed, I think earlier, I had one person thatnsaid that they’d always be in a hurry and they wouldn’t stopnand they’d just keep going and I mean the government tries tonencourage us to stop every 2 hours for a break anyway from ansafety point of view. It’s getting people to understandnthat okay you’re gonna have a break. Well while you’re doingnthat and that idea that you can plug it in and walk away. Youndon’t have to stand there and watch it. And that is justnchanging your mindset and understanding how they actuallynwork. So being able to top up on a trip and let’s say I wantnto drive from Sydney to Canberra. It’s a 300 kilometrentrip. I might want to halfway down and have a coffee. Younplug it in. You put a bit more in and then you’re gonna benable to complete your journey without any problems. Evennthough you haven’t done a complete recharge. You’re onlyntopping up just to make sure that you’re going to get therenand it’s getting people to understand that you just havento change how you think about it. And of course the cars arenso smart. They tell you all this stuff. You just log intonan app and it tells you plug in here do this do this do thisnand you’ll get to your journey and you don’t have to thinknabout it cuz the car actually tells you what to do. So it’snyou know and I had been asked in radio interviews aboutnpeople running out of out of uh electricity and you know younsay well it’s just like when you first buy a car when you’rena young person hopefully you only run out of fuel once andnthat was in the day when the car didn’t tell you anythingnyou just you thought well I learned how to manage that. Sonyou learn how to manage a new car. It’s just slightlyndifferent. I mean gee we’ve all learned how to manage microwavenovens or smartphones or computers in the last twentynyears. All of these things have come and everybody manages tonuse them perfectly. I mean you even see little children tryingnto swipe things you know. Because we’re terrifyinglynadapt of using my phone in worrying greatly. All thisnstuff and it’s just older people who have a fear ofnchange. And of course you know with the diffusion ofninnovation theory that is exactly what goes on. You haventhe enthusiasts who are prepared to put up with allnsorts of things to get the new technology. Then you have thenearly adopters or the early mainstream who are prepared tona little bit of effort but then you get the light mainstreamnwho don’t want to make any change at all in their mindset.nThey’re the hard ones to get and in Norway, that is whatnthey’re talking about. Okay, we’ve we’ve hit hit all thenearly adopters. We’ve got our early mainstream now or intonthe late mainstream. They’re well into the light mainstreamnbut we’ve got the laggards now that we’re trying to worrynabout and to get because their target is 2025 to hit 100% umnfully electric vehicle sales by 2025 and they could do it ifnthey could get that last percent. And of course when youndo surveys there is a percent and it’s only small who say I’mnnever going to do that. And it’s only when it stopsnbecoming an available option and this is where thengovernment comes in. If the government says well bad lucknafter a certain date you cannot buy one of these vehicles andnyou’re just gonna have to put up with the secondhand marketnif that’s what you still want to drive. Then if you can’tndrive one or you can’t go and buy a new one then you arenforced into change and laggards typically and it doesn’t matternwhat the innovation is, whether it’s wearing a mask, gettingnyour vaccine, there are always going to people say, I don’tnwanna do that and it’s a matter of, okay, the government has tonget involved here. Okay, now, that’s that’s perhaps thensocial points of Ben. I might ask you on that hardware. Inmean, we, again, what what do we actually mean byninfrastructure? There’s a charge point in your home. IIncan get that. We all have plugs at home and this is of course anspecial kind of that but when it’s You might have thenoccasional charging point outside a facility. You know,nhow are they being powered? How are they being used? And younknow, are you ever gonna find them along the uh along thenfreeway or you know, at the servos? Yeah, for sure. I mean,nit’s as simple at home. It’s as simple as if you have anPowerPoint in your driveway, you can charge your car. Justnplug into a normal PowerPoint and and you can charge. Um andnof course, There’s varying options. You can get bigger,nmore powerful stations to charge your car a bit faster.nUm and that’s and that’s a fairly easy um barrier tonovercome particularly in a country like Australia where wenhave a higher prevalence of off-street parking and and younknow one of the reasons why we have such a higher uptake ofnhousehold solar and and world leading uptake of householdnsolar is and we own our own roof spaces. We live in thentypes of houses that allow us to put solar panels on the roofnand typically um allow us to park in a driveway. Um now, ofncourse, there’s plenty of people who don’t have thatnluxury and and and those are things that can be tackled butnwe don’t have that same level of barrier of home charging asnthe UK or some of these other markets have um based on ournthe way we live and then, from a public chargingninfrastructure and you know, as as Gayle put it before, younknow, that we’re starting, you know, you eventually get to thenpoint of zero compromise expectations and and we’re arenstarting to see the the the map get colored in with chargingnpoints. Um at the moment the yeah it’s begun with thenfreeway network and connecting the capital cities and and nownyou can basically drive from Adelaide to Melbourne,nMelbourne to Sydney. So um and there’s charging stations everyncouple of hundred kilometers. Um and so um that that isnslowly progressing and and to be fair with with um to the tonthe government. Um that you know, they have funded a lot ofnthat and you know, co-contributed to a lot of thenfunding of those networks um because the business casendoesn’t exist on its own right now because there’s not enoughncars. So, the thing with charging stations is they’rennot necessarily the most visual thing that are out there. So,nthey’re starting to pop up in service stations and rest areasnand council offices and Woolworths and different placesnlike that. Um unless you, unless you’re looking for them,nyou don’t typically know. Um once you actually start lookingnaround, there are a surprising amount of charge points outnthere and a whole heap coming. Um we we just saw last week, uhnthe um arena announced their first kind of funding tranch ofnfuture fuels um fund 25 million dollars into charging. Um andnwe’re gonna see about 400 new charges get deployed around thencountry across AA host of different people doing that umnand co-investing into that but all of a sudden we’re gonnanstart to see the matte coloring really quickly um which isnimportant um because people don’t want to compromise onntheir journeys and yes maybe I travel away a couple of times anyear um but I wanna be able to do that. And and and that’s keynto getting more people on board. Just very quickly innterms of the uh another barrier that comes to mind Australia.nWe don’t have a significant automotive uh uh industry um ornat least you know what’s left is is is significantly smallernthan what used to be uh is manufacturing uh going tonpresent AA barrier that we’ve lost some some critical aspectsnor capability. Can we just import everything we need? Inmean is this is this we need to worry about a manufacturingnbase when we think about this this electrification future? UhnI’m not necessarily sure we need to worry about thenmanufacturing of of vehicles per se. I mean the transitionnto electric vehicles does represent manufacturingnopportunities for us as a country. So um For example, umnfor us, um we have AA Nissan casting plant in Victoria thatnproduces aluminium castings. Um about half of the of the of thenbusiness um is producing parts for hybrid and electricnvehicles that are sold around the world. So, every NissannLeaf style globally has three parts in Engine Bay that werenmade in Australia and that’s because we have the um thenskill set, the engineering know how, the quality um uh to to benable to produce these things um for the for the global market.nSo, that’s an example of local manufacturing. Um we also havenum strong deposits of of lithium and other key mineralsnto battery production for example. So, there’s a host ofnopportunities. I guess nationally that that transitionnto um not only electric vehicles but just batteries inngeneral can represent. Um but really the key for us is beingnable to stake our claim to that global production. Um and itnkinda comes back to uh the point Gail made before about umnyou know government leadership and we’re fully aware that thengovernment aren’t responsible for everything. Um you knowneveryone has to play their part here. But one of the key thingsnis establishing that long term objective of what we want tonachieve. And then that in itself isn’t necessarily anpolicy that’s the yard stick in which we measure all subsequentnpolicy decisions against right but that’s that tells consumersnit tells industry it tells charging manufacturers it tellsnenergy providers it tells everybody what they need to donin the next 1015 years um and that’s key I can’t let thatnthat opportunity for a neat segway pass cuz yeah with withnGail there’s a question I want to ask you about the which ofnthe states in Australia uh are doing this well indeed. Whereneven should the responsibility lie at a state and versusnfederal level for this this electrification? Well actuallynthe responsibility lies at all three levels of government. Sonlet’s uh start with the lowest one uh local government. Nownwhere they’re involved is providing um we mentionednbefore about being able to recharge at home. Um but therenare many suburbs in our cities that don’t have off-streetnparking um just because they’re really old suburbs that werenbuilt before cars even were invented. And so those peoplenhave to rely on public charging and it’s the ones that you knownthe councils that are going to provide public charging pointsnnear their homes within 100 meters. I do know with carnshare um businesses that they say if they cannot provide ancar within 100 meters of someone’s home they won’t usenthem. It’s people are inherently lazy 100 meters.nThis actually you know two two Olympic swimming pools distancenwalking and at night you come home from somewhere and you’vengotta recharge your car, it becomes a safety thing. Younknow, people become afraid of walking around that far in in,nyou know, late at night. They’re coming home and theyndon’t want to do that. So, local government has a definitenresponsibility at that level to be able to provide that kind ofnum thing but state governments, they’re involved in putting innthe long distance um recharges but also providing uh grants tonlocal governments for for the recharges at local levels. So,nyou know, state government does have a role. Um federalngovernment I’ll get on to them in a second but I do want tonmention all levels of government have thenresponsibility of procurement. So that all the agency cars andnwhatever are going to be electric and they set targetsnfor those and making sure that the workplaces have theninfrastructure there so that they can be recharged. So thenyou know all levels of government have thatnresponsibility and procurement then provides you thensecondhand market because more than 50% of people don’t buy annew car either cuz they can’t afford to so getting thenelectric vehicle secondhand market moving is reallynimportant and and I’m sure Ben would agree that if angovernment agency comes to the company and says well looknwe’re really interested in the model blah blah we’ll buy 500nof them that’s enough of an incentive to get them to bringnthat model in that might not have been there before but thenthe real key to all of this and it’s what Ben said before aboutngovernments don’t have to do everything but they certainlynhave to do something and he mentioned this much earliernwhich is is the idea that if a manufacturer is overseas andnthey’re making their cars and they’re gonna choose the marketnwhere to send them to. Well I can tell you right now they’rennot sending them here to Australia because there’s nonpenalty involved in not sending them. So if you’re let’s say VWnand they’re manufacturing in Europe and they’re sellingntheir cars popular in all the countries over there and theynmake some you know great cars and you know Leafs althoughnLeaf’s a very very popular. Hugely popular car around thenworld. Um but you know VW is making a certain number andnbecause the European government has um you know the EuropeannParliament has set their submissions target that says ifnif across the manufacturer if they don’t meet that standardnof COtwo emissions per kilometer if they don’t meetnthe standard for every vehicle over the the standard for everyngram of COtwo they will be charged fined €95 per gram pernvehicle. Now this year they didn’t make it uh becausenthere’s been a chip shortage and they couldn’t manufacturenenough electric vehicles to to satisfy what they needed tonachieve and they’ve been fined um oh millions of euros for notnmeeting it by only half a gram across the whole thing. So ifnthey’re making let’s say 100 thousand just to pick a number.n100 thousand electric vehicles a year. Would they send any tonAustralia? Why would they? Because they’re gonna get finednif they don’t sell them in Europe. So that’s wherengovernment policy does come in because you know the carrot isnproviding enough infrastructure and maybe some states that wasnthe question you did ask are providing some uh subsidies tonpurchase but if the government’s not setting it anstick for the manufacturers for sending the supply to here wellnthen people can’t buy them. Like they can’t buy somethingnthat doesn’t exist. And so that’s where the government’snat all levels are involved and it’s really really importantnthat they do get involved and set targets. Well on that pointnthen Ben what part can EV manufacturers play in drivingnthe the uh electricity the the the overall sector forward?nWell I think that’s um ultimately we are you know thenglobal car industry is is um marching to the beat of whatnconsumers want. Um and so uh that as the market develops wenyou know we we’re in the business of providing cars tonmeet customers needs um and and and that’s what we will do. Andnso what we do see is as as I mentioned a lot of thenactivities and actions taken overseas is really starting tonchange market demand and market dynamics. Um and if I couldnjust circle back on some on a couple of points like uh Inmight just then um one of the key things about securing andngetting vehicles into this market is being able to to plannfor the market. So you know we we we don’t just make it anDecision and launch a car into market a week later. Um the thenthe next car that’s coming through of any lineup isnlargely done already. We’re talking about the one afternthat and making assumptions for that. Um and so the key forndirection and and and market evolution is around thinking tonourselves why does our vehicle need to look like in twentyntwenty-eight? Um cuz that’s the next you know iteration or thennext all new model. And so in Europe for example for ournproduct planning team really clear. Really clear. Every carnneeds to have a have an AD power train um at least by thatnpoint and if not be 100% electric some point in thatnmodel’s life cycle. Um all of the all of the targets and allnof the actions and everything says that but what aboutnAustralia? Um so, do we, do we just follow the European leadnand hope that Australian consumers and the Australiannmarket and the infrastructure and everything happens? Well,ndo we hedge our bets and and bring in a internal combustionnengine derivative for markets like Australia what what do wenactually do? And that means that if we can’t get thosenplanning assumptions really clear it means that the globalnproduction volume obviously for that vehicle doesn’tnnecessarily follow as well. So um that’s why direction todaynis really important for the next ten years. Um because wencan ensure that the lineup of cars and the production volumesnand all of those things come through. And then that means umnwe can support the market and have the vehicles here as anmanufacturer. Costs come down. Volumes go up and um and thenmarket really takes over and and and becomes it’s own livingnand breathing thing. Um the other pieces, you know, thenlayers of government that Gayle mentioned, um in my view, itncomes back to having that aligned picture of what we wantnto achieve and then, everybody does their bit. So, for statengovernments, you know, that they own, you know, they havenresponsibility for road networks. They havenresponsibility for certain transit hubs. So, things likencharging infrastructure in um uh train hubs where you parknduring the day. So, you can charge your car there insteadnof having to worry about it at home. Um and you renewablenenergy so moving charging behaviour to the middle of thenday when solar is abundant um you know it’s a great strategynum planning wars and and things like that for new developmentsnand um those types of things everybody has a role to play wenneed the same destination in mind so we can all work towardsnit. Uh now there’s a sort of a broader piece that the electricnvehicles play and that is in that zero uh strategy andnreally how big is the the percentage of their role in innuh getting us to a net zero target and and really how howncan consumers be incentivized to try to drive thatnfuture. This is a bit of a broader view now and so Gail Inmight start with you and then and then I’ll finish with withnBen on those. I think there’s there’s two sides to thatndilemma of of trying to get electrified future and and thenrole that EV’s playing it. Well all of transport in Australianis around about 19% of our greenhouse gas emissions everynyear. So all transport including planes, ships, cars,ntrucks, you name it. But just over half of it is cars. Younknow like some total of all cars on the road out there isnaround about 10% of Australia’s annual greenhouse gasnemissions. That’s I mean I saw you look shock big. That looksnhuge. A lot more than I thought. Exactly. Which is whynI picked this topic as my PHD because I thought where can wenmake the biggest change that’s not too hard? People wanna buyna car and you’re not saying you can’t have a car. I mean, younknow, at the same time, maybe we should be trying for a bitnof a mode shift to public transport, more activentransport, you know, people riding bikes and that but stillnthere are going to be times when people are gonna want ancar and let’s make it electric. So, that’s what we need to do.nSo, we need to convince every single person listening to thisnprogram that next time they buy a a car, they really need to gonand buy an electric car and you know, to incentivize them to donthat, you have to educate them which is where this program isnfabulous is is helping play a role because it it helpsnilluminate a problem. And the problem is people don’t haventhe information and listening to Ben talking about thenindustry has been really helpful to me because it givesnyou insights on the planning and making people understandnthat it’s not just a has a process. It is a plannednprocess and that governments need to be on board with helpnthat plan because the manufacturer is not gonna bringnthem here if there’s no plan they have to participate in andnthere’s no transition plan that the government has thought outnand talk to all the stakeholders involved. So it’snit’s really important that that 10% of greenhouse gas emissionsnwe’re not gonna reach net zero by 2050 and we’ve done somenquite ah powerful modeling where we include things likenGDP and population all sorts of factors that impact on whethernpeople are gonna buy an electric car or not um and it’snquite shocking that it’s really going to take a very fastntransition. We are going to have to start tomorrow. So younknow please people listening today next time you buy a carnhave a think about an electric car and go and make somenenquiries and have a look at the websites. There’s an appncalled Plugshare which shows you where all the recharges arenand it is very very easy. It’s just that people don’t knownabout it and they don’t understand that they’re in thenlocal Westfield. They’re they’re on the way to Canberra.nThey’re on the way to Brisbane or wherever it is they wannango. I mean at the moment perhaps you wouldn’t want to bencrossing the nuller board but I’ll have to say most peoplenwould probably get on an airplane if they did. Um so younknow it it’s all happening but it’s just that people don’tnknow about it and um they have to consider that it’s not younknow it’s actually cheaper in the long term to own elect carnbecause the electricity component of travel is cheapernthan the petrol component and if you bought an electric carntomorrow you’d pay it off you know like yes it is morenexpensive to buy and you ask me the question which I didn’tnanswer and I will now which is which state’s doing it bestnprobably New South Wales now that they have introduced somensubsidy policies and so they’re they’re offering discounts uhnso that if you order an electric vehicle by Septembernisn’t that long away um then you can get a discount on whennyou buy that car and that will help you overcome that pricenbarrier so that then if you look at plug share and you gonoh really there are actually a lot of recharges out there andnyou know the and the people who are selling your car will helpnyou understand how it all works. It’s it’s prettynstraightforward. And you know maybe you live in a block ofnflats where there is no electric power point. Um younknow and that’s unfortunate. There is going to be thatnpercentage of that it is a little bit more inconvenient.nBut if you buy a car with a reasonable amount of um batterynsize in it you might only have to go to a recharge it once anweek to satisfy your local needs. And you know the firstnpeople that you’d probably anticipate that would be buyingnan electric vehicle are multicar families where theynreplace one with an electric car tomorrow and then keep annice vehicle for the longer trips until they feel confidentnabout what they’re doing and then they could go completelynelectric in the long term. Okay now Ben the the opportunitynthat EV’s play uh is is broader than just even even thatnsignificant 10% shift of our emissions though right? It itnsupports the entire uh renewable electrification fornfor the country. Yeah absolutely and II think um sonobviously an electric vehicle has zero tailpipes it has zerontailpipe emissions right? So when you see vehicles drivingnaround the city streets and sitting in front of schoolsnidling that’s not happening with an electric car. So um sonon on a on a vehicle emissions perspective very very clean. Umnand then it comes down to how you charge them. And so uh youncan charge your vehicle with renewable energy which actuallynassists um the grid in putting more renewables into thenoverall production of our energy. So at the moment wenhave a lot of solar during the day. Vehicles have bignbatteries that need charging. So they can help absorb andnsoak up a lot of that solar uh energy and um and help actuallynstabilize the grid during the middle of the day. The othernreally interesting thing which is a lot of some of thenprograms we’re working on at the moment is Nissan Leafnactually has a unique ability in allowing you to get thenpower back out and use it to power the house. So um what youncan actually do is not only um soak up that renewable energynbut then you can use it to power the home in the eveningsnduring the peak which takes the loan off the grid and actuallynmaximizes your own consumption of renewables. So you’re savingna petrol cost you’re capturing more of your solar investmentnand being able to use it more effectively and all of a suddennit just becomes part of your overall home’s ecosystem whichnis which is great. So not only is it a beautiful power tondrive and smooth, quiet, and all of these things and that’snwhy people love EVs. Let’s not make any mistakes. Uh cars arenstill a really emotional thing, right? So when you get behindnthe driver’s seat and drive it, that’s when the the light comesnon for a lot of people but then uh have so many other benefits.nMake them better. So this is why we say just get behind thenwheel and have a go first and foremost. It’s like learning tonswim. If you stand on the side of the pool trying to figureneverything out before getting in the water you’ll never getnin. Swimming you get in the water and you you know slowlynanswer all the questions and figure it out and then that’snhow you learn. Alright. Putting an EV battery in that poolnthough. Now this sounds like a future that we need to havenhappen. Must have happened and must have happened as soon asnpossible. So Crystal ball time for you both. You know wherenwill Australia be 10 years from now? Your hopes and fears? Incould ask this question other way. When should we be sellingn100% uh EV cars for new cars? And when will we be sellingnthem by? So prediction time. Answer the when should we cuznwe’ve done the modeling. If you don’t make the cut off point atn2030 where you cannot buy an uh uh an ice vehicle from thatnpoint in time. We will never you cannot reach uh ZitNetsnzero emissions by 2050 and not only that uh our modeling showsncuz we did five scenarios that if we don’t actually startnretiring the remnants uh in the last 5 years in in prematurenand retiring them we cannot we cannot reach net zero emissionsnby 2050 because some vehicles are still on the road afterntwenty-seven years. Now the average is ten years. That’snthe average age of a car in Australia today. And so butnaverage tells you that half are younger half are older so wensort of think oh roughly 20 years but knowing fact somenvehicles will hang out till they’re 27 years old. So everynkilometre that car drives that’s a nice vehicle from thenmoment it is made to the moment it is crashed it is still umngreenhouse gas emissions and particulates that cause healthnproblems. We haven’t even touched on that. Um so you’rengoing to have to retire the remnants at the end. Nownobviously you know there’s going to be specialist vehiclesnyou you know people can say oh but my vintage car whatever.nWe’re not talking about that. We’re just talking about stuffnthat people run around in. And and that’s where you reallynhave to um make a big effort. Okay so 2030 is the should thennwhen is the will we? And you’re how optimistic are you of that?nGail. So that you gave us the shoe but when is the will? Nonno I’m completely answer that because he knows more aboutnselling cars than I do. Alright well great great way to thrownthat particular grenade over to you. Loaded loaded handball.nThank you. Um so the II guess when could we um is is reallynuh in line with uh the other markets that we’ve seennglobally because those bigger markets are gonna define thenproduction road map for vehicles ultimately. We’re notna big enough market to really materially change the anplanning outlook of a of of a global company but um you’ren2030 um seems to be the mark where we’re really pushing hardnto hit. Um so it will be somewhere in that 2030 to 2035nwindows is going to be the the the likely um opportunity fornus. The the the question of will we get there? Ultimatelynthat depends on what we do today. Um based on if we donnothing today and just let it ride. Um we probably won’t getnthere until well into maybe the forties. Um if if ever but wenmake those decisions today we can get in line with thosenother markets and kind of join the join the queue um and andnthen we can. Um and and really that’s you know what we’rentalking about here. That’s what we need to be doing as a as annation. Alright well as individual consumers we allnhave our responsibilities to play and of course to advocatenfor our representatives to help make this future uh come inntime for the global demands. Ben and Gail thank you verynmuch for your time. We’ll have further reading and resourcesnon this topic and ways to follow our guests today andntheir work at the Cosmos website. In fact you can headnto Cosmos Magazine.com to see all of our activities at theninstitution and to subscribe to Cosmos Magazine. We’ve got AAnnew edition soon to come out uh but if that’s not enough asnquarterly, make sure to sign up for Cosmos weekly. It’s uh thenbest of original content delivered to you each and everynweek. Many thanks to our sponsor ASE for making todaynpossible. Now, if you support science and its communication,nplease support our work at the Royal Institution of Australia.nStay safe, stay smart, go science.
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Cosmos Briefing - Electric Vehicles

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