EV Imports: the pitfalls

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doug
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EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by doug »

Hi,
I have just read an article in the ´New Daily´ (a web newspaper, Super-industry financed) regarding a push to import secondhand EVs.

My concern is based on safety: We have had a huge recall of Takata airbags in Australia (& worldwide). The problem as I see it is there needs to be a system where there is tracking of these vehicles for safety issues, I guess, ultimately there needs to be funding to ensure these vehicles are safe.

Personally, I feel the motor industry is correct in rejecting these imports. As enthusiasts we are probably in a better position than members of Joe Public to support these vehicles. But for others, not only do they currently have the problems of adapting to a new vehicle, with different management requirements, but also a vehicle, as an import with very little support.

I feel a far better way for Australia to move to EVs is for a percentage of Government (& Quasi-Government such as local councils) be mandated as Electric vehicle (or pluggable Hybrid) purchase. This would increase the number of used vehicles in 3-4 years, which is not an unreasonable time. The way this percentage might work would be to start at say 5% of vehicles, ramping up over a few years to say 20%. Hopefully by that time EVs would be firmly established, so the mandatory purchase would no longer be necessary.

Also, I feel the Government should give tax incentives to purchase an EV. There could be a holiday on any road-usage charges for the first purchaser (because we will be charged in the future with a system perhaps like NZ) Also, some form of tax incentive: no GST for private sales, & a fast write-off for business perhaps? The incentive needs to be great enough for more manufacturers to bring EVs to Australia, as well as business seeing the advantage of an EV purchase. Once the numbers increase, the charging infrastructure will be developed. The used market will also have more EVs available.

My feeling is these incentives will only need to be for a few years. Once EVs are about 20% of the market, I think the change will be self-perpetuating. Who would buy an ICE once they become more expensive than EVs unless there is a real need?

Welcome to hear your thoughts. How can we get this discussion to the mainstream?

regards, Doug

antiscab
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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by antiscab »

New Zealand doesn't seem to be having problems with their grey imports, why would we? Particularly given the grey imports aren't much different to their locally delivered counterparts. I think the established manufactures are having a bit of a lend
Matt
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jonescg
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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by jonescg »

These imports are already an option here, but they aren't really presenting as a compelling option. They are mostly 2014 to 2017 Leafs with 100-170 km range in them, and are selling for between $17k and $35k. While consumer protection does come into it, you have no factory support from Nissan.

I'm in favour of it, simply because it's another EV option below $50,000 which is sorely lacking here. Is it good value? Maybe not, but at least it gets folks into EVs they can afford. $20k change buys a lot of electricity.

And yes all other options listed are solid. We've long argues that mandated vehicle emissions standards would be the single biggest driver of EV sales - it forces manufactures to offer an EV option in the country. Followed by government fleet purchases with second hand market resale. Seeding charging infrastructure in non-profitable areas is a good move too, and finally, some kind of a financial incentive like stamp duty elimination for EVs, or cheaper rego or something. Up until recently you couldn't buy an EV for love nor money; they just weren't selling them here. Now we have a few options, but really, we need a broader market ad that means more options in more price brackets.
AEVA National Secretary, WA branch chair.

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brendon_m
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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by brendon_m »

Stopping grey imports was meant to help the local car manufacturers have a monopoly and now that they're all gone there's no reason we can't have grey imports, the rest of the world can manage the logistics why can't we. The whole recall and warranty thing is partly just FUD from dealer lobbyists.
Sure Nissan (or whoever) Australia aren't obliged to do anything but Nissan (or whoever) global is. And even if they don't because they don't have 'authorised' workshops or some other bullocks excuse, the money you can save by not buying a local offering would pay for any repairs out of your own pocket.
I work on cars for a living and at my work we happily work on imports if they come in. The only hard parts about working on an import are -
the language barrier on fuses boxes, wiring diagrams etc (Google translate now fixes this),
The complexity (imported cars have so much more fruit than local cars, there are features on 90s imports that we are only just starting to see come through now on our local cars)
And getting parts, imports can sometimes have different parts fitted compared to local counterparts which can be hard to source, but the more global market we live in has cut down on this and as more imports are allowed in, the more they will be supported.

Personally I'm in support of grey imports but they wouldn't be needed if the local suppliers were just forced to offer what most people don't realise is even out there.
Also getting a thriving 2nd hand EV market. No-one I know is in the market for a new car or EV or otherwise and there isn't any good 2nd hand options for EVs so they buy ICE cars instead. Its hard to argue that someone should buy a $50k EV when they are in the market for a $20k car.
I think the best solution to this is to offer incentives to business fleets (no stamp duty, tax write offs etc) and also force government fleets to buy EVs and in 3 to 5 years the 2nd hand market will take off.
That would negate the need for most grey imports in the first place.

doug
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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by doug »

Thanks all for the import. I am not against Grey imports, but I do have an issue with the safety aspect. All we need is an injury or worse attached to the non-rectification of a manufacturer defect. This is fixable. (But not by the method Mitsubishi took with the pajero where they recalled all the cars & offered the owner a pittance (not even allowing for well kept cars)
To my knowledge, there is no protection for imported items that do not come through the ´normal´ channels. Be it cameras or cars.
I once worked for Choice magazine (as a tester) so I have sme knowledge of Australian Consumer law. (albeit 50 years ago!)

We also need car manufacturers to release service & maintenance information & tools inc software even if the release is after the warranty period. Many countries are mandating this, & there is no reason why Australia should not follow suit. (There is much more info on the web internationally than the manufacturers release on the local websites).

Please keep the discussion coming!

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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by Nagaman »

I can’t see the establishment wanting to see any EVs in Australia any sooner than what they see in the undersupplied trend .

antiscab
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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by antiscab »

Nagaman wrote:
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 16:17
I can’t see the establishment wanting to see any EVs in Australia any sooner than what they see in the undersupplied trend .
This ^

Given the poor support offered to Australian delivered cars, I'm not seeing any difference of value add between Australian delivered or grey import

Australia has the lowest standards in the developed world, for safety and emissions. The safety argument against having grey imports is a furphy
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by Nagaman »

antiscab wrote:
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 17:23
Nagaman wrote:
Mon, 27 Jul 2020, 16:17
I can’t see the establishment wanting to see any EVs in Australia any sooner than what they see in the undersupplied trend .
This ^

Given the poor support offered to Australian delivered cars, I'm not seeing any difference of value add between Australian delivered or grey import

Australia has the lowest standards in the developed world, for safety and emissions. The safety argument against having grey imports is a furphy
It’s just the proof of the desperate times the old world dealership structure faces.
Small sales margins in ICE cars is made up with spares and maintenance divisions revenues.
Exorbitant EV margins are the required offset.

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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by Rusdy »

jonescg wrote:
Sun, 26 Jul 2020, 19:59
... $20k change buys a lot of electricity.
With extra solar panels and battery storage to boot!!!

mikedufty
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Re: EV Imports: the pitfalls

Post by mikedufty »

The safety issue doesn't seem real to me. Fairly trivial to keep a register of vehicles sold and forward recall notices. Mitsubishi replaced the Takata airbags on my Delica import recently. We can put the VIN into the japanese website to check for issues (online translation tools FTW). Did take a few months of waiting. I feel the airbag was almost a worst case as there was no real option to fix it yourself. Most recalls seem to be minor things that could be fixed by any mechanic.

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