By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Petrol prices are skyrocketing, and it doesn’t look like they’ll head south anytime soon, but there’s an alternative. With RAA announcing it’ll be building a state-wide EV charging network, an electric vehicle might be the answer.
RAA is set to build more than 500 electric vehicle (EV) charging points at about 140 charging sites across the state, but what does that mean for South Australian motorists? There are currently about 283 electric vehicle charging points in SA, leaving some EV drivers with range anxiety, particularly if they’re in rural areas.
However, South Australia’s Electric Vehicle Charging Network, built with funding from RAA and the SA Government, will span the state.
From Renmark to Adelaide and Ceduna to Mount Gambier, EV drivers will have peace of mind wherever they’re driving in South Australia.
With research revealing that 80% of RAA members would consider buying an EV we’ve looked to answer the burning question: how much does it cost to recharge an EV compared to filling up the petrol tank?
It’s important to note that petrol was more than $2 per litre when these prices were calculated. And, of course, you could charge your vehicle at home, which is particularly convenient if you have solar panels and a battery.
However, if you’re on the road, you’ll need to find a place to recharge your EV.
While petrol vehicles have a better range, they’re far more expensive to refill. For example, the Hyundai Kona EV costs just $13.72 to recharge, while its petrol-powered cousin costs more than $100 to refill from empty.
However, if you’re driving the EV, you’d need to stop every 300km to recharge, whereas in the petrol Kona, you can drive for about 700km before refuelling.
At a range of just 170km, the 30kW Nissan Leaf is more for city driving than hitting the open road, with regional centres like Murray Bridge and Wallaroo only just within reach from Adelaide on a full charge. The updated models of the Nissan Leaf (40kW) and Leaf E+ (62kW) offer a claimed 270km and 385km range respectively.
Of the EVs, the Tesla Model X has the greatest range, giving drivers 500km of open road. You could easily drive to Robe or Whyalla from Adelaide on a single charge.
You’re probably thinking, “sure it’s cheaper to run an EV, but what about the initial cost of the car?” Unfortunately, a Hyundai Kona EV is about $55,000, while the petrol version is roughly $27,000.
Refuelling and recharging costs
|Model||Cost per 100km|
|1.||Tesla Model X||$7.45|
|2.||Tesla Model 3 Std range||$4.44|
|3.||Hyundai Kona EV Elite||$4.50|
Data was updated at time of publishing. The cost of petrol at the time of calculation was $2.19/L. *Data refers to the previously released Nissan Leaf 30kW.
Meanwhile, a Tesla Model X will set you back about $180,000. While electric vehicles are probably out of reach for many motorists, RAA Future Mobility Expert Mark Borlace predicts they’ll become more affordable and accessible in the next five or six years.
“The point of parity – that’s when EVs and internal combustion engine vehicles are about the same price – is being predicted in Europe in 2024 for smaller vehicles like your VW Golf and Toyota Corollas,” Mr Borlace says.
“Australia is usually a couple of years behind that, so we could see much cheaper EVs in 2026 or 2027.”
The State Government is also playing its part, offering incentives for people considering buying a new EV.
This includes a $3000 subsidy for motorists who purchase a new EV in SA and a three-year registration fee exemption.
With this in mind, RAA’s EV charging network will be constructed over the next couple of years, with the longest drive between charges being just 250km.
Two-thirds of the charging stations will be located in country South Australia, with chargers available in major regional centres and along main routes.