Understanding more about electric cars

The approaching Australian Parking Convention will address, amongst other topics, issues relating to the advent of
the electric motor vehicle and its repercussions for car park owners, operators
and drivers in general.

Dr. Andrew Simpson of Curtin University’s
Sustainability Policy Institute will make a presentation titled
“Planning for Renewable Electric Transport”. The title of the
presentation by Talal Yassine, Chief Commercial Officer of Better Place
Australia is “The Electric Vehicle Revolution”. We expect therefore
that this will be an important component of the Convention’s message.

In anticipation of these interesting
presentations, we came across two articles which aim to improve our
understanding of the electric vehicle.

Dr. Simpson released a paper in 2009 titled
Environmental Attributes of Electric Vehicles in Australia’ and studying
electric vehicles in the Australian context to outline some of the relevant
environmental attributes as well as the associated impacts on the electricity

His paper draws some significant
conclusions based on projections of the impact of a fleet of one million
electric vehicles, finding significant reductions in toxic air pollutants
(150,000 – 300,000 tonnes annually), a reduction in greenhouse gases (ranging
from 0.9 to 3.8Mt CO2-e, depending on the source of the power charge), and a
range of other impacts on the Australian energy grid and subsequent emissions.
You can read the paper online here.

For the individual user considering the
purchase of an electric vehicle, TreeHuger has published a ‘virtual test drive
– giving potential users a means to understand whether the “range” issue
regarding electric cars is a real issue given their normal driving habits. Based
on the potentially limiting range of electric vehicles, it suggests a variety
of methods to understand your own car usage, and whether the electric vehicle,
or a hybrid solution is the best option.

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