It’s EV overload this week, from chargers and charging to rising electricity prices and the impact that will have on keeping an electric car mobile.
There’s also plenty of interest in Tesla, which is perhaps no surprise given the dominance the brand has on EV sales.
There’s also interest in hybrid vehicles and one person wondering if they have any legal recourse if their new car is not delivered when the dealer suggested it would be.
Am I entitled to compensation if my new car arrives late?
Question: I’m at a loss looking for information regarding cars quarantined at Port of Melbourne. My car was ordered and due for late-March delivery. With all the hold-ups with shipping it has been delayed and arrived in Melbourne two weeks ago only to be quarantined.
I am reading that other ports allowed cars from the same boat to transport to dealers for delivery. I am now three weeks from end of financial year and needing delivery ASAP. Is there any fallback for advice or compensation due to this delayed delivery due to Port of Melbourne?
Orders from Perth arrive at port after Melbourne and have been
delivered already. – Andrew P
Honda Civic Type-R arriving at Port of Melbourne in 2017
Answer: I think we are all in the same boat (please excuse the pun). There’s a lack of information on wait times for quarantine clearance and also no clear understanding of the process – it doesn’t always seem to be first come, first served.
Melbourne does seem to be the worst-performing port. Cars appear to be offloading and clearing quarantine more quickly in Brisbane, Port Kembla, etc. Whether this is overzealous quarantine officials, or some other factor is not clear.
The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, which represents the car-makers, has been lobbying for improvements but we’re not holding our breath.
Unless your purchase contract stipulates a delivery date and included penalties for non-performance, I’m afraid any compensation is likely an uphill battle. Check the contract for options.
Sounds like your hard date may relate to the ATO’s change of Instant Asset Write-off and expensing rules. We believe some dealers are fast-tracking registrations with VIN etc in hand but perhaps not the vehicle.
Our advice is that this is likely contravening the ATO’s rules, but you may wish to find out more from the brand/dealer you’ve purchased from.
What is the total cost of ownership of an EV with rising electricity prices?
Question: I was just wondering about the overall cost of operation, or TCO, with the price of power increasing by nearly 30 per cent. Perhaps time to see how the total cost of ownership looks now. – Frank T
Answer: Most EVs consume around 15-20kWh of electricity per 100km. Electricity prices were previously hovering around 30c/kWh, depending on where you live. To make the maths easier on my brain let’s assume they’ll jump to 40c/kWh (but hopefully less).
That means something like $6-8 for every 100km of driving. Obviously, it will be less than that (potentially zero) if you’re charging from home solar.
Even if electricity prices double from where they will be on July 1, you’d be looking at around $12-16 to drive 100km. At today’s prices that’s the equivalent of six or eight litres of fuel, which is what some hybrids will do in the real world.
For those without home charging facilities, they’d likely be paying more than that for electricity – sometimes 60c/kWh – but it will still be cheaper than petrol or diesel.
And that’s before you take into account the much lower servicing costs. Some EVs only need a check-up every two years and the costs are typically far lower than an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
So the short story is EVs still have a benefit in total cost of ownership, even if electricity prices jumped further.
The one unknown is the expectation that EVs will soon have to pay a road user charge. Victoria already charges 2.6 cents per kilometre, adding $2.60 per 100km travelled. The federal government is trying to be the one that takes on that revenue stream and the expectation is that it would be similar to what Victoria is charging now.
Does a Tesla Model 3 offer the best EV value?
Question: I currently drive a 2013 Volvo V40 T4 Luxury. It has had its ups and downs, but I’m ready for something new, so I’m thinking about taking the plunge and buying an EV. I’ve done the research and I really don’t think ‘bang for buck’ anything beats the Tesla Model 3.
I heard you on the radio a few weeks ago say that you’d owned but sold one. I was wondering, what variant and if you had any advice. I’m thinking the Long Range is the best of both worlds, but maybe I’m just getting seduced by the acceleration and the Standard Range would do the job. I can afford the extra $10K, but I don’t like spending the extra money unnecessarily.
Some facts worth considering: I live in inner-city Brisbane; I have a house and can park the car underneath it; I would have to get a charger, but I’m not sure what type would suffice; most trips are around Brisbane but my elderly parents live 40km west of Toowoomba, so long drives are a certainty. Anyway, any advice or encouragement you can give would be greatly appreciated. – John G
Answer: Yeah, the Tesla Model 3 is hard to beat on overall value, especially once you consider the additional Tesla-specific charging stations. The up-front purchase price of the car is also tempting when lined up spec-for-spec with EV rivals.
Looking at the overall picture, the Model 3 came up a winner in carsales’ 2022 Best Electric Car mega-test.
I had a Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive (the cheapest you can buy), mainly because I didn’t want to spend too much. The Long Range certainly makes plenty of sense and comes with a heap more performance. Just keep in mind that whereas the RWD uses LFP batteries that are recommended to recharge to 100 per cent regularly, the Long Range has NMC batteries that recommend charging to 80 per cent for everyday use (only utilising the full capacity of the battery for longer journeys).
It’s also worth checking the cars Tesla currently has in stock. There have been circa-$8000 discounts on Performance models in stock. Click the “view inventory” tab on the Tesla website.
Should I keep our old luxury car or buy a new hybrid?
Question: Do I buy a new Toyota RAV4 hybrid and sell our 2009 Mercedes-Benz wagon or keep driving the car I’ve got till it dies, knowing the running costs are high compared with a hybrid?
I know there is a long wait on RAV4s but they have a good reputation for being reliable and I’m prepared to wait. I have to weigh up the cost of a new car or face expensive fuel and servicing bills. The longer I keep the car, the less it is worth. What is your advice? – Ann M
Answer: You may be able to do both concurrently given the ridiculous wait times for the Toyota RAV4. You could keep driving your Merc and there’s every chance it’ll die by the time a RAV4 eventually appears in your garage, which is anything up to three years away.
Yes, the RAV4 is a good thing, but the dealers can’t even tell you exactly when it will arrive or how much it will cost (it could be thousands more than what they are today).
If you want something sooner, check out the Nissan X-TRAIL e-POWER. It’s a great hybrid alternative and has far shorter wait times, although you can expect to wait until late 2023 to take delivery.
As for the value of the Merc, it’s likely done the bulk of its depreciating already. So another few years is unlikely to make an enormous difference. We’d be more worried about the potential for big servicing bills.
Nissan X-TRAIL e-Power or in plain speak, Nissan X-TRAIL hybrid
Should we buy an EV or a PHEV?
Question: I am writing on behalf of my husband and myself (a couple in our early 70s living in Hobart). We returned from living overseas in 2019 and bought a new Subaru XV top-of-the-range model (we had owned a 2013 XV in Israel and liked it so much we bought another one here). We had thought our next vehicle would be an EV but things have moved more quickly than we expected.
Our daughter and her husband are eight months into having taken delivery of an MG SUV all electric. They are delighted and whilst we like what we see, we should like some of the features of our XV as well. Both of us are a bit arthritic and so the height of the small SUV we have suits us well.
Whilst my daughter has solar panels and is able to charge their vehicle overnight, we live in an apartment building where the body corporate has shown no appetite in providing for residents with an EV. It would be possible to install the requisite power point. But we also live very close to some public rapid-charge outlets and wondered if we should simply rely on that. Currently we do about 500km a month and fill up accordingly, so would assume it would be a monthly charge for us with an EV?
We are about to have access to some capital which would make it possible to trade our XV on an electric vehicle.
My husband is also interested in knowing the difference between a full EV and a hybrid purchasing in this coming year. From the context I have given you, can you please guide us to what brands and models we should consider. We are an active couple who don’t go off-road very often. We still occasionally take our car to the mainland. – Ann S
Answer: Do you have a regular power point in the garage of your unit? If so, then that would be fine for charging an EV given the relatively low kilometres you’re driving. A standard power point can add about 100km of range each night.
Otherwise, the public charging station nearby would be ample. You’d only need to use it every few weeks. Just check how much power it provides. Anything less than 20kW means you’d have to spend a couple of hours charging. A 50kW charger would mean 20 minutes or so a week. And a 350kW charger could give you enough electricity for 300km in as little as 20 minutes.
As for the differences between a full battery-electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid, an EV runs purely on electricity while a PHEV has far less EV range (usually 40-100km) and performance when running on electricity. Don’t bother with a PHEV because they tend to be expensive and compromised. Plus you’ll spend more time charging that than you will an EV.
As for cars to stick on the shortlist, the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y are hard to beat and the BYD Atto 3 also makes a solid case. Also check out the Polestar 2, Kia EV6 and Hyundai IONIQ 5.
Will we eventually get the new Tesla Model S and X in Australia?
Question: According to the Tesla website, the Model S is not currently available for order in Australia. I’m wondering why this is the case and whether the situation is likely to change any time soon? – Tony B
Answer: Tesla recently announced the updated Tesla Model S and Model X would not be coming to Australia. It seems the heavily updated models – which include the high-performance Plaid – were not engineered to have the steering wheel on the right. Or, at the very least, Tesla didn’t want to invest in engineering it for right-hand drive. So Aussies miss out once again.
The big question is whether the Tesla Cybertruck will be engineered for RHD. There are opposing theories, but we should know soon.
Tesla offer a homer charging scenario which can be integrated with a solar and Powerwall set-up
What home charger should I get for my EV?
Question: Now Tesla doesn’t include a home charger, at $550 for a Tesla unit could you advise what other home chargers would you recommend? Not the big 48-amp fixed wall units, but just the standard 240V 7-11amp units. – Greg W
Answer: A single-phase wallbox unit would likely be your best option because it shouldn’t cost a whole lot more than a portable charger. It’ll supply about 7.4kW of electricity (32 amps), which is three-and-a-bit times more than a standard power point.
The Tesla wallbox V3 costs $750 from the brand’s website, and other retailers (such as JetCharge) sometimes have them for a bit less. There are alternatives from brands such as Ocular and Wallbox (check websites such as JetCharge and EVSE).
The next step up is a smart charger that can ‘talk’ to the grid to determine the best time to charge, or even only use the excess solar if you’ve got it.
Installation should cost a few hundred dollars, depending on access and existing wiring.
If you want a 10-amp portable charger that plugs into a standard power point then those same retailers have various options for $400-500.
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