Climate action saves, not costs money
Updated: May 4
Last year I drove my EV over 17,000km and paid less than $30 to recharge it. It usually recharges for free through our rooftop solar system.
Denialists often drone on about the costs of climate action. But climate action is good for our hip pockets. Last year we ditched gas, electrified everything and covered our roof with solar panels. We now produce more renewable energy than we need. In the midst of a global energy crisis, our most recent energy bill was a cheque of $800 from our provider.
I also enjoy significant psychological income from our renewable energy production. I felt joyous the first time I hit the highway from Canberra to Newcastle in our EV. We zoomed up the Federal Highway at 110 km/hr fuelled by the sun and a sense of hope for the future. Clean energy was no longer something abstract or for the future. It was real. It was now.
Electric cars have so many benefits. Fossil-fuelled cars emit CO2 and toxic pollutants. Electric engines are clean and have no emissions. And while reducing emissions is good for everyone on the planet, the personal benefits of EVs are significant. In addition to saving thousands of dollars from not needing to buy petrol, I like not wasting time in petrol stations. Our car charges itself, while we’re at home enjoying ourselves. Petrol stations are redundant to me. They're barren cement eyesores. I don’t need them.
Other EV benefits include their safety, power, handling, quietness and low running costs. The lower centre of gravity from the batteries makes my EV more stable and fun to drive. Absence of engine noise allows me to enjoy music, podcasts and conversations more.
EV’s are much more cost-effective than fossil-fuelled cars because electric engines are more efficient. All that noise and pollution from fossil-fuelled engines is wasted energy. Electricity also costs much less than petrol. Even on a day when it’s not sunny, it would only cost me about $7 to recharge my car. EVs also require very little maintenance. After 14 months of driving, I still haven’t needed to take my EV in for a service. This saves me time, money and hassle. In the ACT, the first two years of rego for EVs is free. That’s saved me more. The benefits go on. On hot days I enjoy leaving the air conditioner on without having to worry about CO2 and toxic emissions. And I get to drive in transit lanes even if I’m the only person in the car.
Finally, EVs promote energy security. I don’t worry about petrol or gas prices. Inflated energy prices since Russia invaded Ukraine have no impact on our family budget. Taking it up from a family to national level, fuel security will become a thing of the past for Australia as we embrace renewables. Our economy won’t be dependent on oil imports. The $16 billion we spend each year importing fossil fuels will be money kept in Australia, generating jobs here.
For the record, my EV hasn’t wrecked our family weekends like Scott Morrison (sorry to mention that name) scare-mongered back in 2019. Actually, it gives us the freedom to enjoy our lives to the fullest without carbon emissions.
The Electric Vehicle Council is a great starting point to learn more about EVs.