4 October 2022

Virtual dealership aims to help 1 in 4 Canberra households own an EV by 2030

| James Coleman
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Will you be behind the wheel of an EV by 2030? Photo: James Coleman.

Struggling to find a new or used electric vehicle? Canberra’s energy retailer might have the answer.

ActewAGL has shaken hands with Australia’s first virtual EV dealership, Vyro, in an attempt to make buying an EV no harder than picking up your smartphone.

The result is called evHub, and it’s an online platform flush with everything you need to know about EVs, from where to buy them to how to charge them. Think of it like CarSales.com.au but for EVs, and you can buy them then and there (including delivery).

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Under the evFind tab on the ActewAGL website, you can trawl through what’s available in Vyro’s database. This includes new and used vehicles from six different brands, including Hyundai, Kia, MG, Nissan, Polestar and Tesla.

Current stock ranges in price from $45,289 for a new MG ZS EV to $88,035 for a red Tesla Model 3 Long Range with 3500 km on the clock.

And even if you don’t have those funds right now, there are finance options a few more taps away under evFinance. This offers “pre-approval in minutes” through ActewAGL’s other partner, Plenti.

ActewAGL evHub

ActewAGL evHub collates available EVs in Vyro’s database. Photo: Screenshot.

On a per capita basis, the ACT is the largest consumer of EVs in Australia. As of 26 September, 2580 battery-electric vehicles have been registered with Access Canberra.

Between January and June this year, the three best sellers were the Tesla Model 3 (190), Polestar 2 (34) and Hyundai Kona Electric (28).

Demand for EVs globally is outstripping supply, with some buyers waiting up to two years for new cars to be delivered.

ActewAGL group manager of Energy Transition Products Todd Eagles said this was now the greatest hurdle to ownership – the availability of vehicles.

“Partnering with Vyro for ActewAGL’s evFind service provides customers with the opportunity to own an EV sooner – through a trusted source, and safe, simple and speedy process,” Mr Eagles said.

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Vyro co-founder and CEO Will Wise cited the slower take-up of EVs in Australia compared to other countries, and said the new platform aimed to provide a wider range of vehicles, “all delivered via an easy and transparent process across the purchase and financing journey”.

“Most people will have heard of some electric car brands in Australia such as Tesla, Polestar and Hyundai, but aren’t aware of all the available options,” he said.

“So we’re offering a wide variety of brands and a selection of second-hand electric vehicles to give ActewAGL’s customers a large range to choose from.”

The Polestar 2

The Polestar 2, an up-and-coming rival to Canberra’s best-selling EV, the Tesla Model 3. Photo: James Coleman.

Up to this point, you might know ActewAGL better for that logo on your electricity or gas bills, but the part-government and part-private company is in the process of shifting its branding “in response to the changing role of energy in the local community”.

Mr Eagers said they have set ambitious goals to “embrace and encourage more sustainable energy solutions in the local community”.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to help customers switch to EVs sooner. We want to achieve our ActewAGL community goal of one in four vehicles powered by electricity by 2030 in support of the ACT’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2045.”

At the same time, ActewAGL wants to make sure EV charging options are accessible wherever drivers may need them, including through solutions at home, in business locations or through public charging stations.

In partnership with Evie Networks, they promise an additional 70 public charging stations by October 2023.

Check out the evHub online.

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Nearly bought a new hybrid Toyota about 4 years ago -thank goodness I didn’t -cost of battery replacement is astronomical!Heard the other day that to replace a battery on an eighty thousand dollar car is over forty thousand dollars and the car would be virtually useless as a second hand car when warranty on battery runs out -i.e.8 years.

Capital Retro11:35 am 04 Oct 22

Here we go again.

For some reason, ActewAGL keeps forgetting its core purpose namely supply of electricity and gas to customers mainly in the ACT. They don’t do that very well, either.

After losing over $60 million investing in Transact, an undisclosed amount (at least $10 million) in EV startup “A Better Place”, millions already invested in the Neoen hydrogen “blue sky” venture, it is barreling head on into selling used cars.

Jokes about used car salesmen would be appropriate if this wasn’t serious.

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