UTS powers up for the era of electric cars
What's green, loves cars and is only found in the basement of Building 6 (for now, anyway)?
Give up? It’s UTS’s very first electric car charging bay – and, hopefully, one of many around campus in years to come.
Assistant DVC (Research) Greg Skilbeck, who acquired a hybrid electric vehicle (EV) a year ago as part of his personal sustainability strategy, certainly has not wasted any time in taking advantage of the new facility to recharge his car while he’s at work.
“My vehicle has a limited range on electric-only power – about 30km – which is managed automatically,” explains Professor Skilbeck. “I drive to and from Gosford three days a week, a round trip of 160km. Being able to charge at both ends cuts my fuel consumption by about one-third to a half, depending on traffic.”
It takes about three hours for Professor Skilbeck’s car to fully charge in the Building 6 basement while he gets on with his day, and he’s eager to share the charging bay with fellow EV owners as more make the switch. “I leave my contact details on the car windscreen, so if anyone else wishes to use the EV charging bay they can just give me a call,” he says.
The charging facility is currently available to any UTS staff who park their EVs in the Building 6 car park, with no bookings required. Plans are currently underway to roll out further EV charging bays in Buildings 10 and 11.
In terms of cost and emission savings, the benefits of EVs become substantial when using solar power (which UTS does) as opposed to grid electricity, according to Professor Skilbeck. He estimates that charging his car using renewables costs about 25% less than petrol, while reducing emissions by as much as 50%.
EVs by the numbers
- 2 million – the number of EVs on the road worldwide, a ten-fold increase in the last five years
- 4000 – the number of EVs on the road in Australia, estimated to hit 1 million by 2030
- 476 – the number of public charging stations in Australia
- 15 million – the tonnes of CO2 emissions that Australian EVs could save by 2030
- 1/3 – the fuel cost of an EV car compared to a petrol car over 300km
Source: Sydney Morning Herald, 12 January 2018