Bright side: what Australia’s rooftop solar can teach us about electric cars

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Governments and car manufacturers are investing hundreds of billions of dollars in electric vehicles. But while the electric transport revolution is inevitable, the final destination remains unknown. The electric vehicle transition is about more than just doing away with vehicles powered by fossil fuels. We must also ensure quality technology and infrastructure, anticipate the future and avoid unwanted outcomes, such as entrenching disadvantage. In Australia, the electric vehicle rollout has been slow , and federal action limited . But some state governments are working to electrify bus fleets , roll out public charging networks and trial smart vehicle charging in homes . Australia’s world-leading rollout of rooftop solar power systems offers a guide to help navigate the transition. We’ve identified three key lessons on what’s gone well, and in hindsight, what could have been done differently. Price isn’t everything Solar systems and electric vehicles are both substantial financial investments. But research into rooftop solar has shown financial considerations are just one factor that guides purchasing decisions. Novelty, concerns about climate change and a desire for self-sufficiency are also significant – and electric vehicle research is producing similar findings. ‘When planning public infrastructure where electric vehicles can be charged, construction […]

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