This will be the year of the electric vehicle. Here’s what you should know before making the switch.

Buying an electric vehicle (EV) has clear benefits: EVs are better for the environment and have lower lifetime running costs than internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, and offer some of the best safety ratings and in-car tech on the market. But if you’re still feeling cautious, you’re not alone. We address your top five EV concerns.

Myth 1: It will be hard to find a charging station

In a 2021 survey by the Electric Vehicle Council (EVC), more than half of respondents said they would consider an EV for their next car, and 92% agreed public charging infrastructure was important in encouraging them to make the purchase. Public charging stations are on the rise in Australia, with the EVC reporting a 24% increase in the installation of fast charging facilities and a 23% increase in standard charging facilities over the 12 months to August 2021. 

“As the demand for EVs continues to rise, we’re seeing our roads and infrastructure evolve to meet the continued growth of the EV market,” says Peter van der Westhuyzen, an executive director in Macquarie’s personal banking business. “There are a growing number of charging facilities at workplaces and shopping centres, some service stations now offer rapid chargers, and you can increasingly find on-street parking charging facilities as well.”

“There are a growing number of charging facilities at workplaces and shopping centres, some service stations now offer rapid chargers, and you can increasingly find on-street parking charging facilities as well.”

How easy it is to find a charger might surprise you. There are about 3,000 public charging points across Australia - or one charger for about every seven EVs on the road. That number is continuing to grow, supported by apps and websites showing where they are located and any associated costs. 

EVs can also be charged using regular wall sockets, so you may not need a special charger at home. When you consider that the average Australian only drives about 40km a day, charging through a standard wall socket overnight will top up the battery and provide more than adequate range for most drivers.

Myth 2: EVs are only good for urban driving

It’s important to consider your lifestyle when choosing an EV, so you can ensure you get a model that’s most suited to you and what you will use it for. “EVs are definitely a convenient car option if you live in an urban area,” van der Westhuyzen says. “But they are also a great option outside of city areas - and there are interactive maps that make it easy to find charging infrastructure along your journey.”

Van der Westhuyzen says it’s important to do your research, just as you would with petrol stations if you were driving your ICE vehicle long distances or outside a metropolitan area. You may find your battery range will get you to and from your destination without having to charge in between. Just like ICE vehicles, EVs are made with lots of different journeys in mind.

Myth 3: My EV won’t perform as well as my current car

“More and more of our customers are telling us they love the driving experience,” van der Westhuyzen says. The EVC survey also shows a growing interest in EV performance: three-quarters of people indicated performance would encourage an EV purchase in 2021, compared to only 48% in 2020.

Driving an EV definitely doesn’t mean compromising on performance. Many family EVs available today will provide acceleration that is similar to what you’d experience in much more expensive ICE cars, and there are many other factors that make the driving experience a pleasure.

“EVs are quiet to drive, the acceleration is powerful yet smooth and the interiors are spacious,” van der Westhuyzen says. “We’ve heard some drivers tell us they’re worried an EV won’t do what their current car can, but it’s good to understand what is important to you.”

If you need towing capacity, increased storage space inside the car or exhilarating performance, there are EVs available today that will provide what you need. In the next two to three years, Australia will welcome more brands and models that offer even more diversity.

Myth 4: EVs are expensive, and the financing is too complicated

There are various cost considerations to take into account with owning any kind of vehicle, and EVs are no exception. Even though EVs might be slightly more expensive to buy than a comparable ICE car, this cost may be offset by lower running costs and less frequent maintenance, and half of us are prepared to pay more for an EV

“It’s likely purchase prices will also come down as the market becomes more competitive,” says van der Westhuyzen. “It’s also worth considering state-based subsidies and other incentives for EVs which help with affordability.”

Van der Westhuyzen says Macquarie is committed to helping Australians reduce their carbon footprints and transition to EVs. Macquarie’s EV specialist car-buying service offers a discounted finance rate only available for new EVs and charges no fees. “Our experts can help you find the right EV, negotiate the price, manage the trade-in of your old car and, if required, organise finance at a competitive rate for any new EV,” van der Westhuyzen says.

Depending on where you live, Macquarie may even be able to deliver your new EV to your home, fully charged and ready to go.

“It’s likely purchase prices will also come down as the market becomes more competitive.”

Myth 5: I can’t take my EV on a road trip

This is a very common myth - and easily busted. Many EV makes and models now come with a range of 350-600km on a single charge, or about the same as an ICE passenger vehicle.

The ideal road trip might simply mean adjusting your habits. “Like with any extended drive, planning ahead is important - and perhaps more so when driving an EV,” van der Westhuyzen says. “It’s also worth considering that the charge time varies according to which EV model you drive. For some EVs on the market, a 15-minute charge at a public fast charger will give you approximately 300 km of driving distance.”

Overall, it’s not that different from taking your ICE vehicle on a road trip: check that your EV is fully charged, and research the charging infrastructure available along your holiday route and at your destination. An unexpected bonus of taking your EV on a road trip might be increased internal storage, courtesy of no petrol tank or exhaust system.

The environmental benefits, low ongoing running and maintenance costs, and high performance of EVs make them an attractive proposition for conscious consumers looking for new ways to extend their positive impact. With expert financing options available, and more choices on the market than ever, will 2022 be the year you make the switch to a greener drive?

Learn how Macquarie is helping to accelerate Australia’s transition to electric cars

Originally produced content by Guardian Labs Australia to a brief agreed with and paid for by Macquarie Bank.
Finance is provided by Macquarie Leasing Pty Ltd Australian Credit Licence 394925, a subsidiary of Macquarie Bank. T&Cs apply.

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