Energy research geekery – electric cars for NZ

“The feasibility of long range battery electric cars in New Zealand”, Mike Duke, et al, Energy Policy, 37 (2009), pp 3355-3462

In summary: Ffs, just get on with it.

Seriously, just get on with it. Caveats:

  • Yes, we’ll need more renewables, but not that many more.
  • Yes, this will put strain on the transmission grid, but electric cars mostly will charge at night when most factories and offices are switched off, so no prob.
  • A range of 150 km per day will work for urban dwellers on ~98% of their days. So maybe 6 days per year they’ll want to hire a fossil fuel car.
  • Yes, electric cars will be less useful for rural dwellers, meeting their transport needs on only 95% of days.
  • The running costs are tiny, but the up-front costs are more than a petrol car. It’ll be cheaper overall, but you could have a reverse poverty trap, where people on low incomes can’t afford the up-front costs of an electric car, so will end up stuck with a fossil car and paying more overall.
  • If we do what we normally do and wait to buy second-hand versions from Japan, then we’ll be waiting a long time.

So we should get on with it.


6 thoughts on “Energy research geekery – electric cars for NZ”

    1. This is NZ, where we’re surprisingly urban, 86% of the population*. Pastoral agriculture means low human inputs and high country stations can be as big as the greater Vancouver area whilst employing approximately zero people.

      * – where definitions of urban vary between national statistics and those used in the electric cars paper, but thereabouts, give or take.

  1. Have intent of getting an electric car (and/or scooter) when we move over next year. Yanno, as long as I/we can. With any luck the i MiEV will actually be available by then…

  2. Battery tech

    New battery tech will give 10x performance within 10 years, with near-instant re-ccharge. So rural dwellers will be fine. Just need to find a way to produce the juice in a sustainable way now.

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