Frequently Asked Questions

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What types of vehicles are in scope for the Electric Vehicle Action Plan?

This action plan covers road registerable plug-in electric vehicles such as passenger cars, light commercial vehicles, buses, light trucks and heavy freight that can be charged directly from South Australia’s electricity grid.

Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are a complementary focus within the action plan, as the deployment of hydrogen vehicles is several years behind plug-in electric vehicles.

Non plug-in hybrid models, which cannot be charged from an external electricity supply, are outside the scope of the action plan.

Where can I find out more about buying an electric vehicle?

The Electric Vehicle Council provides up to date information on electric vehicles in Australia, including available models, cost calculators, charging options and more.

The Australian Electric Vehicle Association also has a range of resources about buying and charging electric vehicles, and provides periodic events where community members can test drive a range of vehicles.

What public charging stations are there at present?

Current charging locations across Australia and overseas can be found by searching online via your preferred search engine or smart phone app.

The South Australian Government is investing $13.4 million to leverage a further $25 million in private investment to ensure deployment of a statewide, public, fast-charging network. Regional sites will be prioritised.

When will electric vehicles become affordable?

In Australia, some electric vehicle models are expected to reach price parity with petrol/diesel vehicles as early as 2022, on a total cost of ownership basis. This means that while the upfront purchase price may be higher, the overall cost of owning the vehicle will be lower due to significantly lower ‘fuel’, servicing and maintenance costs of electric vehicles.

By 2025 in Australia, a larger range of electric vehicles will be available to Australians, providing affordable alternatives to many current petrol and diesel models and helping to lower transport costs.

The South Australian Government’s commitment to electrify our fleet will mean that more affordable second hand vehicles and models will be available to South Australians in coming years.

What is smart charging?

Smart charging will mean that electricity network operators, power retailers and home battery systems can dial up or down charging during times of high demand on the network, high renewable energy generation or high electricity prices.

Smart charging will complement the electricity network, using the cheapest power to recharge electric vehicle batteries while helping to lower the cost of electricity for all South Australians.

What is two-way, bi-directional and vehicle-to-grid charging?

This refers to the ability for an electric vehicle battery to send electricity back to a home or to the electricity grid when needed, just like a home battery.

What is a virtual power plant?

A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is a network of centrally controlled home rooftop solar and battery systems working together to generate and store electricity, and feed it back into the grid when needed.

What is an electric vehicle virtual power plant?

Electric Vehicle Virtual Power Plants (EV VPPs) will build upon the successful practice of VPPs by centrally coordinating smart and two-way charging and discharging of electric vehicle batteries.

EV VPPs will support demand management of smart home appliances to improve the affordability, reliability and security of our electricity grid.

Once established, EV VPPs could generate new revenue streams that enable electricity retailers and VPP operators to provide incentives payments to customers to help them purchase electric vehicles.

What incentives are you offering towards the purchase of an electric vehicle and/or charging products?

The South Australian Government has prioritised bringing forward the statewide charging network over purchase incentives. This will help maximise the benefits for all South Australians, including those who cannot afford an electric vehicle.

By prioritising investment in a public charging network and electric vehicles in government fleets, the South Australian Government is signalling to manufacturers to make a wider range of affordable electric vehicle models available in Australia and increasing the number of used cars available.

In addition, the fleet pledge program will see more organisations also buy electric cars, increasing the number of used cars available at affordable prices.

The statewide charging network will address the two major barriers to uptake; lack of affordable models and range anxiety.

What is happening with electric vehicle manufacturing in South Australia?

The South Australian Government welcomes private sector investment in the advanced manufacturing sector, including electric vehicles, components and charging products.

The Department for Trade and Investment offers case management for companies looking to develop electric vehicle manufacturing and/or assembly in South Australia.

How can I develop a business, product or idea for electric vehicles or associated technologies?

The South Australian Government welcomes new business and investment in future technologies and entrepreneurship.

Office of the South Australian Chief Entrepreneur provides information about grants, funding opportunities and other support services to scale-up South Australian business and industry.

The Research, Commercialisation and Startup Fund supports researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses to accelerate their progress with funding from the South Australian Government.

Are electric vehicles better for the environment?

Yes. Transport accounts for 30% of South Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions and it is the only emissions sector that is increasing.

Decarbonising the transport sector is integral to addressing climate change and meeting our targets to achieve more than a 50% reduction in the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (from 2005 levels), and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Recent analysis by the International Energy Agency shows electric vehicles produce significantly fewer emissions than internal combustion engine (petrol/diesel) vehicles over the lifecycle of a vehicle.

Further, South Australia has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world to charge from and has an ambition to achieve 100% net renewable energy generation by 2030.

For further information about emissions, the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory provides quarterly updates of emissions by sector.

Are electric vehicles better for public health?

Yes. A major benefit of electric vehicles is reduced or zero exhaust pollution.

Vehicle emissions cause significant mortality and morbidity in Australia each year. For instance, the National Environmental Science Program reports that air pollution from fossil fuel vehicle emissions causes the death of 1,700 Australians each year. This is significantly higher than deaths from road accidents, which are around 1,200 each year.

Further, vehicle emissions cause significant rates of chronic illness and hospitalisation, at a cost of around $18 billion per year across Australia. Babies, children, chronically ill and older Australians are especially vulnerable.

Electric vehicles will deliver cleaner air and reduced noise to make South Australian towns and cities even more liveable.

Why are you implementing road user charging for electric vehicles?

The South Australian Government is investing heavily to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles and bring forward the benefits for all South Australians. This investment, coupled with forecasts that some vehicle segments will reach cost parity with conventional fossil fuel vehicles from 2022, means that the uptake is likely to be rapid.

It is important to commence structural reform to ensure the associated drop in fuel excise, the main source of funding for road maintenance, is replaced so that our roads remain safe and well maintained for all drivers. As the number of electric vehicles increase, significant issues of fairness will emerge between those who can and cannot afford electric vehicles when it comes to helping pay for our roads without reform.

What about the problem of lithium-ion battery waste?

There is already capacity for reuse and recycling of lithium-ion batteries in Australia. The South Australian Government is currently exploring opportunities for South Australia to lead the nation in diverting lithium-ion batteries from waste streams, capturing the significant economic benefits into the future.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission provides information about the national approach to battery stewardship.