Meet MEAs New Team Member: A Kia Niro Electric Crossover SUV
The future of vehicles is electric, and that is good news for all electricians.
We have purchased an EV to commit to the future development of cleaner and greener vehicles. As well as the burgeoning EV car charger industry for licenced electrical contractors.
While the cost of the Niro was higher than that of traditional internal combustion engine vehicle, the running costs have already proved to be very low.
Over the coming months MEA will be conducting our own test and learn scenario. We will be measuring how much energy we put in the car, how far the car goes, plus when and where do we charge.
We have researched charging options currently available in the Australian market and different smarts you can introduce, including:
- chargers that involve electronic payments
- chargers that will coordinate between multiple chargers to limit the maximum charge
- chargers that simply charge when you plug the vehicle in
- bidirectional chargers that allow you to use excess solar power.
After installing a 36kW solar system on the roof of the MEA Head Office in 2019, we have installed a Zappi EV Charging Station. This will use surplus power previously destined for the grid at 6 cents per unit a kW hour to charge the car.
One kW hour is worth approximately 0.6L of fuel – the equivalent of filling up the tank at 12 cents per litre. At a time when fuel prices are pushing or over the $2.00 mark, that is a significant saving.
At times we’ll need to access external charges when taking the vehicle out on longer regional trips at a rate of approximately 40 – 60 cents per unit, although more expensive this is less than half the price of petrol at the moment.
With multiple charger types now available, based on size and charging capability MEA’s CEO Malcolm Richards said he would be very concerned if government incentives are only provided for basic chargers, those without smart technology.
“We really need to be looking at bidirectional charger options, with the discrimination elements,” he said.
“Today, not many cars in the market offer bi-directional charging options but in the next couple of years this will change.”
Electric vehicles and chargers are an exciting emerging technology, and MEA will be using our research and learnings from our EV purchase to guide members in the future and communicate with government what we think the future will hold.
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