He recently road-tripped in his Hyundai Kona to Narooma, which is around 400 kilometres south of his home in Hornsby Heights in Sydney’s north.
Wise and his partner needed to take two cars on the trip, so the EV and his wife’s petrol car hit the road.
He said the trip to Narooma and back cost him $12.05. By contrast, his wife spent around $120 on petrol for the round trip.
“And it’s only a Mazda CX-5 - hardly a petrol guzzler,” Wise said.
The $12.05 was for a recharge at a paid charging station, he said. He was otherwise able to find free chargers along the way, and charge free at the Airbnb (you can now filter for EV charging through the platform).
A little more planning was required for a long-distance EV trip to find charging stations, he said, but this would become progressively easier as more infrastructure was installed.
He stopped to charge at three different public charging stations on the trip there and back, as well as charging at home before he left - which contributed a little extra to the total cost - and the Airbnb. The .
Interest in electric vehicles exploding
NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said upfront costs remained a serious barrier for buyers, as did the limited choice of models in Australia.
He also said charging infrastructure remained an issue. “But we're certainly making progress in that space.”
On the flip side, EVs are easier to service - which keeps down maintenance costs - and are much cheaper to run.
“Just speak to an EV driver and they’ll tell you,” Khoury said.
He also said the first few EVs trickling down onto the second-hand market were holding onto their value.
“Right now, we have a 2022 Tesla Model 3 on offer with the current bid sitting at $71,000, where they actually retail for around $68,000 and the bidding is set to close in a few days time,” said Lee Hames, chief operations officer for Lloyds Auctions.
Hames said high petrol prices were a factor in the resale pricing.
Electric car interest accelerates
Khoury said skyrocketing petrol prices had cemented in the minds of Australians that electric vehicles were the future.
“There's every likelihood that it will just be brought forward now,” he said.
However, he said the current energy crisis “won’t be solved overnight” by everyone buying an electric car immediately.
“There has to be more short-term solutions provided globally,” Khoury said.
Wise also said since petrol had ticked over $2 a litre, interest in EVs had exploded.
“We talk to a lot of our customers and what we're hearing from them is that petrol prices are just getting too high,” he said.
He expects to see a tipping point when family-friendly EV models reach price parity with a popular family car, such as a Mazda CX-5.
“So you're looking at the $40,000-45,000 mark, brand new,” he said.
Will an EV be cheaper for me?
Whether or not an EV will be cheaper for you will depend on your needs and your driving habits.
You can use the Electric Vehicle Council’s online tool to see how much it costs to run a typical electric sedan, hatchback, SUV and van, compared to a combustion model.