Remember Back To The Future with the flying DeLorean? If you grew up with these films you'll recall that flying cars, powered by household waste, were the norm in 2015.
Sadly, this futuristic prediction never happened. But in 2021 there's another exciting development fast approaching that all Australians should be hanging out for: electric vehicles.
Last week Federal Labor announced that if elected, it will introduce an EV discount to make them cheaper. Well, guess what? You can already buy a cheap electric car if you're happy to drive a quality secondhand one.
That's what I do - I buy secondhand (and new) EVs from overseas and sell them here - warranty included - with prices starting below $20,000.
Last month my team took this idea to Canberra and was astonished by the interest in our bulk-buy program. Almost 500 people came to our launch.
There's clearly lots of people out there who know EVs are the way of the future.
But why are they?
For the environmentally conscious, it's because they're low-emissions. And with transport Australia's third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (17 per cent of total emissions, with passenger cars at 10 per cent), this is a critical sector to electrify.
EVs are also quiet, so they cut down on noise pollution. They're around 70 per cent cheaper to run than petrol cars, cheaper to service too, and the giant battery can be used in disasters and blackouts as a backup generator.
But the real question is, how far can you get on a battery full of juice?
Most of us live in cities and towns, driving an average of 40km a day.
A full battery in the cars I sell can cover up to 350km. Those living remotely might need to plan routes with public chargers available but luckily, this is rapidly changing as fast chargers pop up all over the country. Most EVs plug in at home on a standard powerpoint and charge like your phone. Plug it in overnight, and it's full in the morning.
When I tell people what I do for a living, some say I'm 'just' a used car salesman. Respectfully, I disagree. Providing access to affordable, reliable EVs is essential to reducing Australia's carbon emissions and everyone deserves the right to be able to contribute to that goal.
But that's just the first step. I also want to provide battery upgrades so that we can use EVs to support our energy grids with more clean power. Great Scott, as Doc Brown would say, this is the way of the future.
- Anthony Broese Van Groenou is co-founder of The Good Car Company, a Hobart-based electric vehicle start-up