Bleats

Everything The Government Is Getting Wrong About Electric Cars Just To Rev You Up

No grunt? No fast chargers? Stealing our utes? Here's a bit of perspective.

They have no grunt? They’re stealing our utes? There are no fast chargers? Of all the election battlegrounds, this debate over Labor setting a new vehicle sales targets of 50% electric vehicles by 2030 has to be one of the most ridiculous yet.

So here’s a quick rundown of just-about-everything the Coalition is getting wrong about what’s happening with electric vehicles. Australia is already one of the lowest adoption countries in the world when it comes to EVs to date.

Let’s not pretend that somehow that’s all because EVs have a magical and unique problem in Australia that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world.

“Australia, we have a problem.”

They’ve got no grunt, no power

Scott Morrison tossed this one up during a press conference and it is so wrong that you have to wonder if he’s ever seen, or ever even read a single thing about what electric cars can do. For all the genuine concerns around ‘range anxiety’ for EVs, the way electric vehicle motors work mean they are almost entirely made of grunt. If they grunted any harder we’d be making pig jokes.

Basically, fuel-engine motors have to rev up to start generating their torque, which lets a car accelerate. Electric motors immediately deliver their power to a car’s drive system, which is known as ‘instant torque’.

In a nutshell, most EVs can absolutely destroy petrol-engine cars when taking off from a traffic light.

Here’s a video of a Tesla destroying every other tricked out car in some illegal street races.

They can’t charge in 15 minutes

This is about as close to the truth as they get, and by ‘close’ I mean ‘still wrong’. What’s true is that Australia doesn’t have a large network of fast charge stations publicly available yet to make this kind of charging option easy to find yet.

What’s crazy is that the Coalition has itself provided funding for just such a network of charge stations to start rolling out across the country. Here’s the CEO of JET Charge pointing out to Angus Taylor that his company is being funded by the government that is now saying his product doesn’t exist.

Today, Australia has one of the lowest counts of public charging networks in the world. Clearly that needs to get better to make life better for EV car owners so they can confidently travel all over the countryside. But these targets give us a decade to do it. Feels pretty reasonable if there’s already a Coalition government funded program in place to help make it happen.

They don’t have good range

Do petrol cars have good range when there’s no petrol stations? Because new electric cars are now basically at the point where they get similar mileage to their fuel-based friends (frenemies?). A low-end EV might only get 150-200km, but that’s aimed at being a city car that doesn’t roam far from home. But the newest long-range EVs are getting around 500km to a charge.

Build the charging infrastructure and there won’t be a problem. It’s not like we’re not trying to force EVs to compete against the V8s in the Bathurst 1000.

On the flipside, the cost saving on charging versus fuel is astounding. One 70-year-old from Queensland, Sylvia Wilson, drove a 20,396km round trip of Australia in her Tesla Model S at a cost of $150 in electricity charges to do so.

A napkin calculation at a generous 8L/100km on $1.40 per Litre (like I said, very generous) for a petrol vehicle to cover the same distance would put the cost at roughly $2,285.

Actual footage of Green police coming for your petrol car.

They’re too expensive

The handful of EVs available in Australia today are pretty expensive. There’s almost nothing you can get here for less than $50,000. But, again, that’s today. Globally there’s a lot of small, smart EVs appearing and as our market shows more signs of life for EVs we’ll expect models to start appearing at almost every price bracket.

Half of Labor’s concept is also to target 50% EVs in government car fleets by 2025. Part of what that does is also help create a better second-hand market for EVs, because government cars get replaced every couple of years. And a second-hand market means an opportunity for more EV options at cheaper prices.

Mulching your vans not in the plans.

They’re going to take your ute

There is no part of this policy that suggests forcing people to sell their current vehicles, let alone have them stolen and driven into a canyon. This is about setting the conditions for electric vehicles to flourish, so that people won’t even want to choose fuel-engine cars anymore.

But, if you really want to, you can still be part of that 50% of new vehicle buyers who buys a petrol guzzler in 2030 if you really want to. Have fun with that.

You Might Be Driving Over Your Tech Sooner Than You Think, And It Will Make You Feel Damn Good

Tech is a gold mine. Literally. But there's a brighter future.

Brought to you by

HP has been an industry leader in reducing its impact on the environment and we’ve partnered with them to bring attention to the growing plastics problem.

HP uses recycled plastics which could have otherwise ended up in our ocean into creating recyclable cartridges. Learn more: www.breakdownthebeast.com/

Tech is a gold mine. No, not just the billions being made selling us our beloved phones, laptops, cameras and printers. It also turns out that when we recycle it in the right way, it’s easier to mine for metals than digging holes in the ground.

Tech is a mess of plastics, chemicals and metals, so it’s taken a long time to crack the code on cleaning it up when we’re done with it. We’ve even made a bigger mess by shipping wastes off to places like Ghana to make it all someone else’s problem. But research shows that 73% of Australian consumers believe it’s up to the government to lead the way with sustainability, while 79% believe the responsibility lies with companies.

But we’re finally starting to fix things, and not just by selling circuitboard earrings on Etsy.

One of the biggest elements to deal with is all the hard plastics, but now there’s a growing list of ways these materials can be shredded and melted for use in other projects.

Some scientists have been working on melting these into useful oils for fuel. Others on efficiently shredding plastics for use in furniture or other products that can handle this grade of second-hand plastic (they call it ‘regrind’).

HP partners with Close the Loop to turn leftover printer cartridges into roads. It’s mixed with good old fashioned asphalt, but the new mix is making better, longer lasting road surfaces in the process.

The most amazing part to all this is seeing e-waste become a new mining industry. So many valuable metals are found in there – gold, copper, aluminium, rare-earth metals, and more.

It’s not just a question of digging the metals out and calling it a day, of course. It’s a chemical process that releases the metals from their dead-tech form and turns it back into useful base metals.

That process has had its own problems, but recently even this metal extraction process is getting cleaner, with companies finding less toxic ways to access the metals for future use.

It sounds like a lot of work, but according to joint research from Australia and China published in April 2018, the costs involved make it 13 times cheaper to access metals in this way compared to digging ore from the ground.

All these processes aren’t just running as separate initiatives either. New business networks are emerging to tackle our collective responsibilities when it comes to recycling e-waste.

Some are dubbing it the ‘circular economy’ as people see opportunities throughout the lifecycle of all these wildly varied materials to keep bringing it all back to life.

Laws are changing in coming years to put a stop to just dumping e-waste in general garbage, as well as to offer easier options for where you can drop things off.

Thankfully there’s already plenty of ways to tackle your own e-waste without too much fuss. From special council drop-offs to Mobile Muster and the print cartridge drop-offs through Planet Ark bins – a program now 15 years old.

HP is a founding member of Cartridges 4 Planet Ark and together they’ve recycled over 10 million cartridges in Australia alone.

Excuse time is over. We’re cleaning up our e-mess. If we’re all doing our part to keep it out of landfill then that’s one more step down the road to making the world a nicer place.

Unsure if you can recycle it or where to recycle it? Search here: recyclingnearyou.com.au

The New iPhone Will Cost All Your Money But At Least It Has A Cool Porn Star Name Going For It

How are we meant to look at the name "XS Max" without thinking about something dirty or INXS?

It’s new iPhone day, everyone, and that means shiny new toys for Apple fans and new things to poke fun at for the haters.

Top of the sticking points this year? How are we meant to say ‘XS Max’ without thinking the new iPhone has a porn name.

It was tricky enough when Apple wanted us to call the iPhone X the ‘iPhone 10’, but with today’s arrival of the iPhone XS, Apple adamantly proclaims it’s the ‘10S’ and definitely not the ‘excess’.

In fact, there’s three new models. The XS, the bigger XS Max, and the cheaper XR. Remember, you’re meant to read the X as a 10 but the S and the R like they’re part of the normal everyday alphabet. Which kind of means you can say ‘Tennis’ and ‘Tenner’?

So what’s new? It’s the ’S’ year, which means the surface layer is just like last year and the upgrades are mostly under the hood. So it’s all about being faster, smarter, smoother.

And sexier, like the saucy minx you know XS Max must be.

While the XS is the same size as last year’s X, the XS Max takes us up to a 6.5-inch screen (but still smaller than the older big iPhones).

For regular overseas travellers, the new iPhones also have dual SIM support, so you can split your phone between your home phone plan and an overseas plan to keep call and data costs down.

It’s all watched up to 11 – sorry, to 10S – but that also means the price, which sees the fanciest models smash through the wallet crushing $2,000 mark for the first time.

The Aussie dollar is part of the problem this year, too, down about 10% compared to September last year, so the conversions really don’t work in our favour at all.

Want the cheapest possible X model? The iPhone XR with 64GB storage will set you back $1,229. Want all the bells, whistles and Max Power of a 512GB iPhone XS Max? That’ll be $2,369.

Strap yourself in and feel the Gs (leaving your bank account).

The XR does seem like the ‘sweet spot’ of all the shiny fancy full-screen-with-a-notch iPhone models. It comes in some snazzy looking new colours too.

The biggest news of the event was in the Apple Watch section of the show. While many have argued these watches aren’t all that, the stats now indicate Apple Watch has become the number one watch in the world. Not smartwatch. Any watch. Apple’s watch business alone now makes more money than Rolex.

The new watches are a little bigger, but also thinner, and can fit a few more data points on the watch face so you can get more useful info at a glance.

But the killer feature is in health tracking, with the new Series 4 Apple Watch adding fall detection as a big help for the elderly or just plain clumsy, and an amazing new ECG reader built into the watch crown. The heart rate monitor can also now flag if your heart rate is too high, too low, or busting out some arhythmic beats that might require medical attention.

This stuff is huge for people at risk and in need of constant medical data tracking without the need for obtrusive devices strapped all over the place.

The new Apple Watch Series 4 starts at $599 which sounds like pocket change compared to the phones.

And with that, we also say a sad farewell forever to iPhones with headphone jacks. The old iPhone 6S now leaves the store, the last model before it disappeared.

So what happens next? Fans get excited and place their orders (starting Friday), haters point, laugh and call out the sheeple for being so bold as to spent their money on things they like to spend money on. Apple will make record profits yet again and analysts will argue this is the last time that happens for sure.

Then we do it all again in 2019.

With the iPhone XI? X2? XX? Place your bets now.

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