Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Study shows electric cars bring environmental benefits

MEDIA RELEASE


14 May 2014
_____________________________________________________

Study shows electric cars bring environmental benefits

If electric vehicles were widely available, New Zealanders would buy enough of them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector by one-fifth over the next 18 years, new research from Victoria University of Wellington shows.

PhD researcher Doug Clover says there are currently only a couple of hundred electric vehicles on the road in New Zealand, but his study into the preferences of potential car buyers shows people are keen to purchase them.

“I surveyed people intending to buy a car in the next five years and found that if electric vehicles were easy to buy now, 20 percent of those surveyed would choose them.”

Doug then used a type of behavioural modelling known as discrete choice to estimate demand for electric vehicles up until 2030. His projections used the information gathered in his survey and scenarios of different levels of government support and different rates of improvement in electric vehicle (EV) technology.

“In all the scenarios,” says Doug, “plug-in hybrid cars (which can be switched to fuel when battery life runs out) are the most popular option, followed by city EVs, or small electric vehicles, with a range of around 100 kilometres.”

Family car replacements—larger EVs which can seat five to seven people, tow a trailer and have a range of around 300 kilometres—were consistently the least popular option due to the high cost of batteries says Doug, never making up more than 12 percent of the EV fleet by 2030.

But while Doug’s research found that EVs have potential to make a significant dent in the greenhouse gas emissions produced by cars and light vehicles in New Zealand, the gains would be wiped out by continued use of coal-fired electricity generation.

“Under current conditions, with a low price on carbon, it still makes economic sense to use coal plants to meet the increasing demand for electricity. The price of carbon needs to rise to ensure that this rising demand for electricity is met through the use of renewable energy, which we have plenty of in New Zealand.”

There are currently around 2.6 million light vehicles in the national fleet and New Zealanders drive, on average, 38 kilometres a day.

That, says Doug, makes EVs viable as most current models have a driving range of between 100 and 150 kilometres before the battery needs to be recharged.

He says an EV is around three to five times more efficient than a vehicle powered by the conventional internal combustion engine.

Doug believes EVs are potentially a “game-breaking” technology, although his research shows there are barriers to uptake.

“The biggest ones are the high purchase price, limited driving range and access to battery charging facilities. If the Government wants to encourage uptake of EVs, what would make the most difference is having a network of easily accessible charging points, especially for those living in apartments or with no garage.”

Energy storage is also an issue says Doug. “When a battery can no longer power an EV, it still retains around 80 percent of its capacity. We need to be looking at ways of reconditioning them and selling them for other purposes.”

Doug has had a career working in energy and transport policy roles for government agencies and as a consultant but he says completing a PhD was one of the most difficult and challenging assignments he’s undertaken.

“The problem solving I had to do really stretched me in new ways.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Trading Places

Greg Clydesdale, a lecturer in business at Lincoln University, has written a comprehensive account of global trade from the seventh century to modern times. More>>

Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Carrie Fisher: Hollywood In-Breeding & The Velocity Of Being - Binoy Kampmark

There was always going to be a good deal of thick drama around Carrie Fisher, by her own confession, a product of Hollywood in-breeding. Her parents, Debbie Reynolds and the crooner Eddie Fisher, provided ample material for the gossip columns in a marriage breakup after Eddie sped away with Elizabeth Taylor. More>>

  • Image: Tracey Nearmy / EPA
  • Gordon Campbell: On The Best Albums Of 2016

    OK, I’m not even going to try and rationalise this surrender to a ‘best of’ listicle. Still…maybe there is an argument for making some semblance of narrative order out of a year that brought us Trump, Brexit and the deaths of Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Alan Vega, who I missed just as much as the Big Three. So without further ado….oh, but first a word from the sponsor More>>

    Emojis: World’s First Māori Emoji App Launched

    It’s here - the world’s first Māori emoji app Emotiki has landed just in time for summer roadtrips and santa stockings, with 200 Māori and Kiwi cultural icons for people to share their kiwiana moments with each other and the world. More>>

    ALSO:

    Howard Davis: Album Of The Year - Van Morrison's 'Keep Me Singing'

    2016 was a grand year for Van The Man - The Belfast Cowboy turned 71, received a knighthood, and reissued an expanded set of soul-fired live recordings from 1973 ('It's Too Late to Stop Now'). In the game for 53 years now, Morrison's albums consistently open new windows into the heart and soul of one of the most enigmatic figures in modern music. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Education
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news