There’s one week to go until Parliament resumes for 2018 and the Abbott camp has wasted no time laying landmines for Malcolm Turnbull before the Liberal Party room has its first party room meeting next week.
The Australian has a front page story today quoting Craig Kelly, Abbott’s go-to sock puppet on energy issues, who claims electric vehicles will create more greenhouse gas emissions in Australia than conventional petrol-driven cars.
Kelly’s claim is based on the assumption that Australians will charge their EVs with electricity from the national grid, which is predominantly generated from fossil fuels.
If Kelly truly believes this, he is sadly out of date for someone who claims to be one of the Coalition’s energy experts. More likely he is simply ignoring what is going on overseas (and increasingly in Australia) where EVs are a big part of the battery revolution.
Electric vehicles use a battery similar to the ones people are installing in their homes to store the electricity generated by their rooftop solar panels during the day so they can access it during the night or on cloudy days.
EV producer Tesla was one of the first companies to produce batteries like the ones in its cars as home solar storage units. This was probably a logical extension of the realisation that EV owners who keep their cars at home during the day were essentially storing any excess solar energy in their electric vehicles. So why not make that energy accessible for use by the house as well as the car?
Australians love their rooftop solar systems and are installing them in record numbers. The rooftop solar boom will be followed by the household battery revolution. Firstly those who can afford the (still expensive) batteries will install them, and then as demand increases the cost will go down, meaning even more households will increase their use of renewable energy with rooftop solar-battery combo.
But what about the cars that don’t stay at home? By installing solar panels on the buildings or in the parking lots where EVs are parked during the day, cars can be recharged with renewable energy while drivers are at work. These types of installations are already happening in Australia.
So don’t believe the bullshit being peddled by the Abbott camp today on EVs. It’s inaccurate, deliberately misleading, and nothing more than another attempt to wedge Turnbull on renewable energy.