When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Bushwalking gear and paraphernalia. Electronic gadget topics (inc. GPS, PLB, chargers) belong in the 'Techno Babble' sub-forum.
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When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 07 Aug, 2020 6:17 pm

The EV evolution is continuing and on global term, Australia is clearly behind the curve amongst advanced economy as well as some leaders in developing economy countries. The cross over will be particular challenging for the country folks who need the greater range as well as for many keen bushwalkers. Despite, there are some EVs that are hitting the 500km range and quite a few are showing on SUV platform.

So the question is, what do folks here think they’ll be ready for the EV transition? And will our NPs start to provide charging points at some stage?


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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Aardvark » Fri 07 Aug, 2020 6:39 pm

I'd say most people don't really give a damn until push comes to shove. Got enough to think about.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Eremophila » Fri 07 Aug, 2020 7:06 pm

How much power does it take to fully re-charge a vehicle? Is there a pay-per-use system for charging - I can't see people/organisations wanting to foot the bill for endless charges. I did see a charging point recently out the front of the pub in Fish Creek, which was a bit of a surprise.

Can charging stations be made compatible for both road vehicles and mobility scooters? That would be handy. Or are they just a normal plug-in GPO?

I'll be a while off another vehicle, and cost will be the deciding factor, which probably rules EV's out for me for some years. Perhaps as they filter into the 2nd-hand market the prices will come down a little.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby ofuros » Fri 07 Aug, 2020 7:13 pm

When they can recharge themselves on the go, without the need for plug in stations.. :wink:

At the moment cars have 4 rotating wheels that could be used for on-the-go charging...why pay for power ?

Environmentally cleaner battery manufacturing & recycling would be nice too.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby GPSGuided » Fri 07 Aug, 2020 7:48 pm

Full EVs are now starting to be released with 60kWh range battery capacity, which are good enough for 300-500km range pending the style of vehicle and technology, so for home electricity rate of 30c/kWh, a full charge would be around $20. A significant saving on fossil fuel cost for a similar range of at least half. There are now more and more commercial public charging points out there of various capacity ie. Rate of charging in shopping centres and highway stops. Yes, they are paid per use. I can see how these can be similar to vending and ATM machines where the business of physical location can gain a cut in their usage, even potentially for the NPs/govt.

Had a review of the issue in the last week and my take is that we are getting very close. A 500km range would be more than sufficient for me to access all the out of the way bush tracks I can think of. The impressive torque generated by EVs will also be very handy for some of those rough terrains. The only problem is, EVs with good range are still largely limited to premium priced vehicles and it would hurt to get dinged on a bush track. As for the question of self-recharge. Well, there was an analysis on the value of solar panels on the vehicle body (at around 20% efficiency), it won’t cut it as the contribution would be tiny. The best overall solution at present would be home solar and charge off that. One factor I was impressed with was the fact that EVs typically don’t require any servicing as there’s no oil change and the regenerative braking largely leave brake pads unused. Some Tesla users don’t even both with servicing over 3-4 years despite a recommendation to service the A/C and air filter systems every 2 years.


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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Mark F » Fri 07 Aug, 2020 8:48 pm

For some of the trips I do and have planned for the future an ev will not cut it, or else I have to carry a decent sized generator. I would prefer a hybrid for these types of trips. On the other hand we will be buying an ev quite soon for local trips which make up the majority of our vehicle usage. It will only need about a 250-300km range. I believe Sweden is seeing this same situation with an ev for round town usage and an ice for extended trips.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 08 Aug, 2020 12:42 am

Mark F wrote:For some of the trips I do and have planned for the future an ev will not cut it, or else I have to carry a decent sized generator. I would prefer a hybrid for these types of trips. On the other hand we will be buying an ev quite soon for local trips which make up the majority of our vehicle usage. It will only need about a 250-300km range. I believe Sweden is seeing this same situation with an ev for round town usage and an ice for extended trips.
Between EV, Plug-in Hybrid and Hybrid, it’s difficult choice at this point I think. I almost settled into a decision on a PHEV, then suddenly thought why would I still want to maintain a conventional ICE and associated expenses. A two car household can take both positions but tough for a single car choice... Maybe one more year for me. Looking at all the EVs out there, we in Australia aren’t getting too many choices.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby north-north-west » Sat 08 Aug, 2020 8:52 am

Until solar recharging is practical, EVs will always be a little problematic for remote travel. It's easy to chuck a couple of jerries in the back of a car - try doing that with a charger.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 08 Aug, 2020 11:01 am

north-north-west wrote:Until solar recharging is practical, EVs will always be a little problematic for remote travel. It's easy to chuck a couple of jerries in the back of a car - try doing that with a charger.
Concur. But question is how remote and what kind of distances. More than 500km?
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby north-north-west » Sat 08 Aug, 2020 11:30 am

In Tassie, as long as there are chargers available in larger towns, 500km is plenty. I'm thinking more about outback travel - Flinders/Gammons, the Centre, the Top End, Pilbara, Kimberley, Nullabor etc. Even doing a quick weekender from Melbourne to, for instance, Howitt would be in the iffy range. The sort of trips I used to do, driving up to the Snowies for two or three nights, wouldn't be practical.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Moondog55 » Sat 08 Aug, 2020 11:34 am

For long distance travelling/touring I don't see electric vehicles getting the range needed for another decade or so, but personally I think hydrogen fuel technology is a going to have better environmental outcomes if only we could make the commitment.
Until then perhaps hybrids will be the way to go if we need to travel more than 500 kilometres at a time or the 1000 kilometre range that I consider necessary for safe outback travel. With our current vehicle we could get that 1000 klicks by taking a single 20 litre jerry can of diesel or two of them to be absolutely secure and sure.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Al M » Sat 08 Aug, 2020 4:38 pm

The technology and price performance still hasn’t arrived for 100% EV by a long way for country touring.

Commonly available and mass affordable cars liked $27k Toyota Prius C 1.5L petrol hybrid with the braking inertia recharge only works for around town with stop start traffic giving around 70 mpg or 3.3L/100km on 30L fuel tank usage 770km compared to country driving 60mpg or 4L/100km 650km Range. Stop start on country minor roads may achieve similar mileage but any small hill quickly engages the petrol engine, any speed above 30-40kph also.

Nissan Leaf full EV is $60k with 300km range so no go and too expensive. Tesla 3 at $70k 460km range or S at $120k and 700km range not affordable for most.

Toyota’s latest Corolla hybrid $30k is selling well and not far behind the smaller Prius C for range and economy while RAV SUV hybrid is outselling selling like hot cakes at about twice the nearest competitor at $50k for AWD version with about 20% better economy over the petrol only version with similar scenario to the Prius C usage around town vs country.

These are all we have as current choices with some other manufacturers making similar but Toyota leading the pack. Subaru Forester hybrid is hopeless.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby GPSGuided » Sat 08 Aug, 2020 11:00 pm

Following Al M’s summary, I’ll also add Hyundai and their Kona Electric. Compact SUV with a max range of 449km (obviously a little discount in real life driving). It’s getting very close for non-outback driving needs. Realistically, how many Australian ‘bushwalkers’ go to the outback for their regular walks? They just need to push the battery tech and motor efficiency a tad more and it’ll pass the threshold. Very very close I’d say.


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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Al M » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 1:17 am

Also, if you plan to tow anything whether for camping or other uses look at the particular model, there are serious shortcomings, some EV less and some hybrids won’t even allow it or have a very reduced weight and the range will suffer tremendously.

Light suv and compact Diesels and petrols are still very cheap by comparison, heaps of range and not too far behind still, with cheaper COVID fuel prices even better. Modern larger diesel 4WD like Toyota Prado and others at $60k can achieve close to what a Toyota RAV hybrid can do, albeit diesel fuel is dearer.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Warin » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 10:07 am

north-north-west wrote:In Tassie, as long as there are chargers available in larger towns, 500km is plenty. I'm thinking more about outback travel - Flinders/Gammons, the Centre, the Top End, Pilbara, Kimberley, Nullabor etc.


1,000 kms is the minimum for remote travel - Connie Sue Hwy etc.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby GPSGuided » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 11:36 am

Warin wrote:1,000 kms is the minimum for remote travel - Connie Sue Hwy etc.

Just need a few fast charging points along the highway. Not unreasonable to have at least one or two 30mins stops for a 1000km drive.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby tastrax » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 12:58 pm

GPSGuided wrote:
Warin wrote:1,000 kms is the minimum for remote travel - Connie Sue Hwy etc.

Just need a few fast charging points along the highway. Not unreasonable to have at least one or two 30mins stops for a 1000km drive.


:lol: :lol: I am not sure there will ever be charging points on the Connie Sue Highway

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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby GPSGuided » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 1:14 pm

Never say never but when did regular bushwalkers start to get all focused on such out of the way places in their equipment choices? Losing sight of the main issue.
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Re: When will EVs be practical for keen bushwalkers?

Postby Mark F » Sun 09 Aug, 2020 1:31 pm

Ev does yet cut it for local trips let for more infrequent and remote trips. For me just going from Canberra to Round Mountain for a walk is about 200km each way with one small service station at Adaminaby about mid way. I suspect it will never see a charging capability. Going via Cooma adds 50km and 30 minutes each way. Given the road is partly dirt, windy and hilly I would want a 25% buffer so I need a guaranteed 500km range - more like 600-650km brochure range.
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