Electric and hybrid vehicles have the potential to play an important role in reducing greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions from car travel in Western Australia
Did you know...
- In 2021, there are around 1,200 registered electric vehicles in WA
- Since 2018, we've seen an 83 per cent increase in battery EVs and plug-in hybrid ownership has increased by 100 per cent
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered purely by electricity or a combination of this and liquid fuel, reducing tailpipe emissions and the impact of cars on our health and the environment. EVs produce less CO2 than petrol or diesel cars, or even zero when recharged from renewable electricity.
The main types of EVs:
- Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) which are powered only by electricity
- Hybrid petrol/electric vehicles which can be powered by electricity but also have a back-up petrol engine
Electric cars can reduce fuel costs and require minimal servicing. When fully charged, most EVs can drive between 250-500kms before they need to be recharged.
Other low emission vehicles, such as hydrogen-fuelled cars, are being developed to provide another alternative to the traditional combustion engine.
Electric vehicle sales
The global market for EVs continues to grow significantly but uptake has been slower in Australia. This is largely due to cost, range anxiety and the limited range available to buy. However, by 2040, it's estimated EVs will account for:
- 70 per cent of new car sales in Australia
- 30 per cent of Australia's total car fleet
RAC is always looking at ways to help reduce vehicle emissions, improve fuel quality and ensure Western Australians have access to clean and safe vehicle technologies. We do this through our advocacy activities (including submissions to government) and initiatives such as the Less Emissions Mission and RAC Electric Highway to reward and support owners of low and zero emissions vehicles.
Renewable and clean energy
A further shift toward renewable electricity generation sources will ensure electric and hybrid vehicles produce even less harmful emissions.
You can check WA's daily electricity generation breakdown at the Australian Electricity Market Operator’s website.
RAC's position on low and zero emission vehicles
RAC advocates for all Western Australians, whether they are a driver, passenger, cyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or public transport user.
These documents outline our public policy positions, and what we are calling on from the State and Federal Governments to support better mobility for Western Australians.
Frequently asked questions
- More environmentally friendly
- Produce significantly less tail pipe emissions than petrol and diesel vehicles
- Easier and cheaper to maintain
- Not as noisy
- When recharged from renewable electricity, they produce zero emissions
EVs are powered by an electric battery so, unlike petrol or diesel vehicles, they don't produce any tailpipe emissions.
WA's electricity generation mix fluctuates daily. Over the past 12 months, 14 per cent of electricity was generated by wind, with the remaining generation made up of gas (42 per cent), coal (42 per cent), and solar rounds out almost all of the remaining two per cent.
Recent European research indicates that EVs outperform diesel and petrol passenger vehicles, across all electricity generation makeups; and even on heavily carbon intensive grids. EVs charged by the average European electricity profile ‘repay their “carbon debt”’ after a year and can save over 30 tonnes of CO2 across their lifetime when compared to an equivalent non-electric vehicle. Taxis, on-demand ride share and shared vehicles – vehicles that travel significantly greater distances – can save up to 85 tonnes over their lifetime.
Yes you can. The WA branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) is a great place to start for local information.
EVs use one or more electric motors for propulsion, and are recharged by plugging in to an external power source.
Some EVs are powered by electricity alone while others, such as plug-in hybrids, use a combination of electricity and liquid fuel, such as unleaded petrol. Other low emission vehicles use a fuel cell to convert hydrogen to electricity to power the engine, emitting only heat and water as by-products.
The range electric vehicles can travel has increased in recent years up to 700kms on a single charge. However most EVs on the market in Australia are able to travel between 200km to 500km on one charge.
No, electric vehicles have in-built safety features to prevent the risk of electrocution even if travelling through deep water or when flooded.