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charging stations for Australia


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I understand Toyota America is planning to co-ordinate with universities and like institutions in the provision of charging stations for its electric models.

I am currently at a university in northern NSW and would hope similar plans are underway in Australia, in fact, I am sure some universities would be eager to host early stations/bays. Does anyone know of any such plans for Oz, and can anyone tell me the current state-of-play regarding charge bays, such as price of installation, expected compatibility across models and makes.

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Well the thing is, the Prius and Camry hybrid... as well as other hybrid cars for sale in Australia, currently do not offer the 'plug-in' charging feature. Until such a hybrid is on offer, then I doubt anyone is even going to bother looking into the concept.

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Sorry, but as an EV enthusiast(Yes its my hidden secret :ph34r:) I will ditch my ICE vehicle for a FULL EV as soon as they are viable and my price range :lol:

And its not because I'm some sorta hippy or love tree hugging or believe in "global warming" but because EV's fit my lifestyle and my commute.

There is no need for an oil guzzler for me when all my trips are urban and the most 25KM from home.

Edited by unique
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Sorry, but as an EV enthusiast(Yes its my hidden secret :ph34r:) I will ditch my ICE vehicle for a FULL EV as soon as they are viable and my price range :lol:

And its not because I'm some sorta hippy or love tree hugging or believe in "global warming" but because EV's fit my lifestyle and my commute.

There is no need for an oil guzzler for me when all my trips are urban and the most 25KM from home.

In the words of His Holiness Jeremy Clarkson...

"Can't put the fan on, coz that'll wear the battery down. Can't listen to the radio, coz that'll wear the battery down. You don't have electric windows, because that'll wear the battery down. You can't go very fast, coz that'll wear the battery down. You can't stop, coz that'll wear the battery down."

Sorry, doesn't really sound like a particularly enjoyable driving experience to me. I think I'd rather catch a bus.

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I know EV's are designed for short trips, but Australia is a big place and would require the population to much higher (which results in more charge stations) to make it viable. The areas around the cities could easily be done, but even then we have very few universities (compared to somewhere like Japan) anyway.

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It might be a big country, but almost all of us live half a battery charge away from the GPO, and drive 90% of our miles on short trips within sight of a power line.

It seems to be almost inevitable that a significant percentage of our vehicles will be plug-in electric in the near future, do we have to wait until the rest of the world has left us behind before we stop looking in the rear-view mirror, and start watching where we are going?

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As much as it seems like a good idea, it all comes down to the dollars. Then it comes down to who will actually buy a full EV or plug in hybrid. I personally don't think the market here in Australia is large enough to consider pumping money into the idea just yet. Sure there is a large percentage of us that live close to the GPO, but the thing is, how many of those people would consider even changing their car to an EV or hybrid.

Then you have the issue of parking. A fair amount of people that travel short distances are those that have to go into the CBD for work or study. The thing here is that parking is quite limited within the CBD. Sure you can save dollars by having an EV, but then you need to pay fees for parking etc... if parking is even available. Then there is traffic, etc. In the end, is the commute to work any better, or even cheaper?

Personally, I would rather have the public transport network improved. Trains are by far the most efficient way to get from the suburbs to the city during peak periods since you have no traffic to worry about etc. So as long as these can be kept efficient, then this would be what I'd prefer.

In the meantime, you just have to stick with an electric scooter if you want to go in that direction.

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Sorry, but as an EV enthusiast(Yes its my hidden secret :ph34r:) I will ditch my ICE vehicle for a FULL EV as soon as they are viable and my price range :lol:

And its not because I'm some sorta hippy or love tree hugging or believe in "global warming" but because EV's fit my lifestyle and my commute.

There is no need for an oil guzzler for me when all my trips are urban and the most 25KM from home.

In the words of His Holiness Jeremy Clarkson...

"Can't put the fan on, coz that'll wear the battery down. Can't listen to the radio, coz that'll wear the battery down. You don't have electric windows, because that'll wear the battery down. You can't go very fast, coz that'll wear the battery down. You can't stop, coz that'll wear the battery down."

Sorry, doesn't really sound like a particularly enjoyable driving experience to me. I think I'd rather catch a bus.

Don't take this personal mate, this isn't aimed at you but the "comedian" Clarkson.

That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You can't go very fast? How fast do we need to go in Australia? You can't drive over 100KM/h without a speed camera taking happy snaps or that lone officer hiding behind that bush so why would we need EV's that go any faster then MOST 130KM/h or 120KM/h?

You can't stop? When a EV is stopped it is using NO battery power what so ever. It's like it shuts off. Not only that, using the brakes in a EV charges your battery. So peak hour traffic means money back in your pocket. One of our most hated thing (peak hour traffic) will be virtually harmless to the environment and on our hip pocket. I for one would not mind sitting in heavy traffic without having to smell heavy fumes and at the same time charge my batteries.

Everything else that he said I really don't see how it relates to EV's with thousands of batteries with a lot of technology implemented.

Ask yourself What if ICE was the new technology? And in 2010 some guy out of his mind thought of an engine that runs off Oil. There would be public backlash and disgust at such an idea.

What if EV's had the 100 years of technology and refinement as ICE vehicles.

EV's is a great idea and I won't say its not the right time because when will the right time come? We gotta start somewhere. The last thing EV's need is criticism.

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I agree with you somewhat, Unique.

However no amount of technology is going to change the simple fact that anything that draws power will... well... draw power when you use it. So using the aircon would draw power, you wipers would draw power, the radio would draw power. So, unlike a regular car with an engine and an alternator to keep the battery charged, all these things would take power that could otherwise be used to power your motor.

I certainly have nothing against them. They suit some peoples needs, and for those people they are an excellent idea. But I'm not about to trade in my V6 for a little electric car anytime soon.

What's really caught my interest in all of that, though, is that braking charges your battery. How does that work?

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It might be a big country, but almost all of us live half a battery charge away from the GPO, and drive 90% of our miles on short trips within sight of a power line.

It seems to be almost inevitable that a significant percentage of our vehicles will be plug-in electric in the near future, do we have to wait until the rest of the world has left us behind before we stop looking in the rear-view mirror, and start watching where we are going?

I fully understand your whole argument and I agree with it. I was pointing out the reason why it is a long term goal in Australia. I'd love to see EV's driving around; but I am also being a realist about it. If there was one that wasn't Prius ugly and looked like a normal car and cost the same I'd buy it.

I prefer DJKOR's public transport upgrades, it is woeful in Australia, and the reason for this is lack of population; which is why I can't see EV's becoming popular any time soon unless the price of petrol jumps considerably.

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However no amount of technology is going to change the simple fact that anything that draws power will... well... draw power when you use it. So using the aircon would draw power, you wipers would draw power, the radio would draw power. So, unlike a regular car with an engine and an alternator to keep the battery charged, all these things would take power that could otherwise be used to power your motor.

But that's no different to a normal car, just replace the words "draw power" with "use fuel". A battery in an EV is equivalent to a petrol tank. The important factor is that the equivalent range of the battery-pack in an EV is significantly shorter than that of a petrol-powered car - they both have a self-contained onboard fuel system that needs regular recharging, but at the moment only one of them (petrol) is actually supported country-wide.

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I guess in regards to Toyota's Synergy drive system, a few things need to be understood about efficiency.

Toyota have The ONLY Hybrid vehicle which successfuly uses a combination of both the Petrol and the electric engine.

either the Prius or the Hybrid Camry are the ONLY real current solutions to reducing green house emissions while motoring. The electric engine is used where the petrol engine is most innefficient, at take off. and the petrol engine is used when all is needed is for the rev's to tick over, and keep the car moving.

Hybrid technology, removes all the thirsty ancillories from the engine. The AC, and the PS are powered from the Hybrid Electric Battery. The petrol engine can then run at its most efficient when being used for either driving the car forward, or charging the battery when not under load.

Because of the vast distances which we have here in Autralia, Charging stations will take a long time to start to appear. But because the Hybrid Synergy Drive system we have is a combination of the two, by using small amounts of Petrol, we can cover vast distances. (Prius 3.9l/100km and Hybrid Camry 6.0l/100km - these are combined figures)

While i can appreciate the argument, saying, "i make most of my trip in urban areas, most in stop start traffic, so an EV car would be best" Of course it would be!!!! The Toyota HSD would run, on just the electric motors if need be. Only tipping in a little bit of fuel everynow and then to suppliment the battery power.

and without trying to sound like a Toyota Salesman, i would own a Hybrid camry any day. they are probably the best car package on the road when you consider all the categories. Safety, Power, Comfort, Technology, Fuel Efficiency. If you havent driven the Hybrid Camry, i suggest you give one a go.

end sales speel/

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Not only that, using the brakes in a EV charges your battery. So peak hour traffic means money back in your pocket.

THe thing here though is that the entire process is not overly efficient. Sure it does make a difference, but power still is wasted (not lost, power is never gained or lost) in the process. So in reality, it probably works out more efficient if you don't stop.

... but that's just nitpicking.

What's really caught my interest in all of that, though, is that braking charges your battery. How does that work?

The electric motor/s that power the car can be used for the opposite purpose. The battery is applied to the motor as a load and as a result, it makes the motor a generator. Because the motor is now turning and trying to apply power back to the battery, it provides a braking force to the wheels that are driving it. As a result, you slow down whilst the battery receives a charge.

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I take the points about the necessity for better public transport, and that only petroloeum fuels have nation wide distribution, but the EV seems a logical next step on both these counts. We will probably never have the population - or want it - to justify public transport everywhere in Oz, so something cheap and available has to keep our family/work/recreation vehicles running, and the only thing more widely delivered than fuel is power. Sure, it costs money, but compared to fuel it's a bargain, and doesn't even require tankers.

Apart from available vehicles, what we really lack is charge points. Across the world - even Adelaide - charge points are being installed, but it's a chicken and egg argument: until we're driving one we won't need to fill up on the other. Scale of production is bound to improve prices and sales volume will lead to better models.

The 'fuel' supply for EVs is potentially totally versatile. Overnight slow charge at home; fast charge at charge stations; refuel in the carpark/street parking bay/public transport parking lot; hell, we could even trickle-charge from solar while we are on holidays in the middle of the desert or gone fishing.

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