Doctor and activist

EV Batteries are the Answer to Australia’s Electricity Storage Problem

23 May 2024

Everyday we hear about Australia’s energy problem.  The government wants to be re-elected because it gave the electricity companies $300 for each of us to offset our power bills.

Less than a fortnight ago, the Government announced a new gas strategy. Gas had to be a ‘transition fuel’ because we could not transition to renewables fast enough. Fracking with its associated damage to the rock strata, environment and greenhouse gas targets notwithstanding Last week the Liberals announced a nuclear future. This week Erarang coal fired power station closure has to be delayed. And, hey rooftop solar is too much in the day time, so owners will have to pay to have the power taken off their hands as grid prices go negative.

Meanwhile it costs $50,000 to buy an EV in Australia, despite the fact that China has an EV overproduction problem and BYD can produce a model called a Seagull for $US10,000 (about  $A15,000). An EV has a battery that stores about 50 kilowatt hours, whereas the average home battery is less than 10kWh.  The spot price of electricity varies and it would be easy to charge the EVs on solar in the daytime and use their batteries to power the houses in the evenings. Why does this not happen?  It does require standard plugs and meters that would allow electricity to move from the car to the grid.  Electricity already goes from the grid to the cars- it just has to be able to be reversed.

Why has this not happened?  The small number of electricity suppliers, who are arguably gaming the system by withholding supply at critical times to raise prices, do not want supply diversified. They are building solar as fast as they can and wanting to control the solar input. They even offer to put solar on your roof as long as they can control when it is used. If individual households could store solar in their EVs, and either use it or sell it into the grid at peak times, this would directly cut into their oligopoly profits.  Why does the government not have the courage to take them on?  Probably because solar owners and people who want to profit from the EV batteries in their cars have not made enough noise to make it a political issue.

So lets shout:

‘We want cheap EVs and we want to be able to use their batteries to store power for Australia, lessen greenhouse gases and make some money at the same tim.

When do we want it- NOW!’

Arthur Chesterfield-Evans

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