The Nissal Leaf is expected to be sold in Australia for around $50,000.
A similar sized car powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE) can be bought for about $20,000; there are virtually no government incentives for electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia.
How can paying two-and-a-half the price for an EV be justified?
What are the factors involved?
- For those who care about the environment, minimising the greenhouse emissions that they are responsible for in particular, EVs do not burn fossil fuels and do not emit greenhouse carbon dioxide;
- For those who have solar power
(16.5% in Australia and getting on toward twice that in two states, Queensland and South Australia) an electric car can be much cheaper to run than an ICE powered car;
- If the car battery can also serve as a home battery the value of the EV can be substantially increased.
The costs of the home batteries discussed on the
Gizmodo Home Battery Storage Buying Guide
at the time of writing varied from $2000 to $10,000 while their capacities varied from 1.2kWh up to 14kWh.
As an example, if the 24kWh battery of the Nissan Leaf could be combined with a low-priced, low-capacity battery such as the Enphase 1.2kWh product it could avoid the need of buying a high-priced, high-capacity battery such as the Tesla Power Powerwall 14kWh product.
The combination of EV and small home battery would give a far higher energy storage capacity for the home than would the Tesla PowerWall alone.
Of course there are other factors to be taken into account; for example:
- Power from the EV battery will only be available while the car is at home and connected to the home power supply;
- If a substantial part of the power from the EV is used in the home the amount remaining to power the car will be reduced correspondingly;
- Energy will be lost in transferring power from one battery to the other;
- Increased frequency of charging and discharging of the EV battery will shorten its life.
There have certainly been many exciting developments in power technology in the last few years and decades.