Did you know that on average, Australians spent a whopping $143.54 a month for fuelling up their rides in 2017?
Yes, there’s about a $20 difference across regions. But the $122 spending of South Australians (Queenslanders paid $162 and Victorians $146) is still a lot of money.
With such a massive chunk of Aussies’ budget going towards fuel, it should no longer come as a surprise that more of them now change gears in an electric car. The same goes for farm owners, many of whom now rely on electric utility vehicles.
The question is, how can these electricity-powered machines cut your vehicle operation costs? Knowing this will help you realise why you should make the switch ASAP.
It’ll also help you understand how experts can forecast the global electric vehicle market to reach 10.8 million units in 2026.
So, read on to learn these hows and whys!
The Lowdown on Electric Utility Vehicles
To understand how an electric utility vehicle can bring your farm, nursery, or vineyard operating costs down, let’s talk about electric vehicles first.
These vehicles run on electricity contained in a battery pack. The battery supplies power to the electric motor, which then allows the driver to turn the wheels. When it runs out of juice, drivers need to recharge the battery through a wall socket or a specific charging unit.
These machines don’t need any type of petrol (no gasoline, no diesel). They only require electricity to bring their passengers from point A to point B and back. These savings alone should give you a picture of the savings you can get.
Fuel Costs vs. Energy Costs
Here are a few stats to put things in better perspective:
The national average price of one litre of gas is $1.51. A litre of diesel, on the other hand, costs an average of $1.55.
Now, let’s say you use the same average fuel consumption in 2016 today, which is 10.6 litres per 100 kilometres. If your day-to-day driving distance is 50km, that means you spend about $8 a day on fuel alone!
So, imagine not having to rely on gasoline or diesel to go about your farming chores. Without the need for fuel, you can already see how many hundreds of dollars you can save with an electric utility vehicle.
But how do you calculate the cost of operating an Electric Utility Vehicle if it doesn’t use fuel? You need to factor in where exactly you are in Australia (for electricity rates) and how far the vehicle’s battery can take you.
On average, you’d need to use about 18 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy to cover 100 kilometres. Now, multiply this by $0.33 – the national average electricity rate per kWh.
These calculations show it’ll take you less than $6 to travel 100 kilometres! Now, compare this with the nearly $16 you’d have to spend to cover the same distance on gasoline or diesel.
That’s almost $1,200 savings every year.
Factoring in Battery Life
Like everything else that runs on battery-stored energy, you’d need to recharge an electric vehicle. It’s for this reason you also need to factor in battery life when calculating the costs of operating Electric Utility Vehicles.
Note, however, that electronic technology has gone through significant improvements over the years. Nowadays, you’ll find EVs (including Electric Utility Vehicles) to have a greater range in between charges. There are also tricks to maximise EV battery life, so make sure you keep these in mind too.
To understand how battery life affects the cost, let’s use the Nissan Leaf battery electric vehicle (BEV) as an example. This one has a 24kWh battery that can cover 170 KMs.
If we follow the above-cited example (driving 50 kilometres a day), this means you have about three days and a half before you need to recharge. In other words, you most likely only need one recharge a week.
So, what about the recharge expenses?
The expense depends on what type of charger you have or use, and you have three choices at the moment:
- 20 to 30 minutes at a fast charging station
- 8 hours with a wall recharger
- 14 hours with a general power (socket) outlet
Fast charging stations charge about $0.45 per kWh of electricity and a $1 fee for a charging session. Wall rechargers cost between $500 and $5,000.
Even with all these recharging expenses though, you can still see the considerable difference between operating a fuel-powered car and an electric one.
Saving Money and The Environment
Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have much less impact on the environment. Especially BEVs, which don’t generate tailpipe pollution. After all, these don’t have a tailpipe.
Low emissions, plus using renewable energy sources like solar, makes electric vehicles almost emission-free. So, aside from helping you cut back on transportation-related costs, it also gives you the chance to go green.
Are the Savings Enough to Recoup Purchase Cost?
Indeed, many of today’s electric vehicles cost more than the standard base model of, let’s say a sedan. This initial purchase price is one of the reasons many Australians still haven’t made the switch to EVs and Electric Utility Vehicles.
On the lower end, we have electric cars priced at $27,000. On the higher end, like the Tesla Models, we have the vehicles above the $100,000 mark. Ford also has its more affordable offer, the Focus Electric, which we’ll soon see followed after the company has invested $11 billion for electric vehicles.
The thing is, buying a brand-new car in Australia now can set you back $28,000 on average. Top that off with the cost of petrol, and you can see that an electric vehicle offers a much more cost-effective option.
Making the Switch to an Electric Utility Vehicle Now
More and more farm, nursery, orchard, and vineyard owners now recognise the enormous benefits of switching to electric utility vehicles. Many of them want to lessen their dependence on fuel, not only because they can save money by doing so, but also because they know of the toll it has on the environment.
All these should already push you to become an Electric Utility Vehicle owner as soon as possible. You may not see the savings right away, but you will in the long term.
If you want to know more about electric vehicles and the good they can do, make sure you head to our blog! We’ve got more news and useful info there about BEVs and Electric Utility Vehicles!