Modern hybrid and electric cars are arguably some of the coolest things on four wheels. From fuel efficient and environmentally friendly daily cars (such as the Prius and BMW i3) to the ultra-performance cars such as LaFerrari and even upcoming off-road vehicles such as the Tesla Cyber-Truck.
There isn’t much a modern electric can’t do, so why do we never see them in Australia? Is it because Australia just isn't ready for hybrid or electric cars yet?
The first thing many people argue is that the range of many electric vehicles doesn’t suit our landscape. With hundreds or thousands of KM's between cities, the range of some of these vehicles doesn't seem sustainable. Though with many people living in the cities and using alternative transport to move between cities, now might be the best time in history to consider an electric based car for local transport.
The downside to this comes around when you’re looking to travel outside the city though, as many areas of Australia don’t have the supporting infrastructure needed to make travelling easy, such as charging stations.
Another downside to most electric cars comes about due to servicing and repairs.
Whereas with a normal car you are likely able to get a repair anywhere but, due to the high level of training and equipment required to work on hybrid cars, most workshops will refuse to service them outright. This isn’t unexpected when looking into what is required though, as it can take thousands of dollars in equipment and approx. 5 people to even work on a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Alongside the high requirements of safety and the extra equipment needed to work on these cars, many manufacturers of hybrid or electric vehicles don't provide independent repairers the required materials (parts and manuals) to work on the cars. One outstanding example of this is Tesla, a company that is taking right to repair to the extreme by disabling fast charging on vehicles it thinks have been salvaged or repaired by independents.
When taking all this into consideration, it’s easy to see why many people don’t believe Australia is ready for hybrid/electric vehicles. Though, they really make a compelling argument if you live in a major city. As for how long it will take for these issues to be solved, with modern emissions standards, it's only a matter of time until the auto industry has to overcome this hurdle.