Looking for a new electric vehicle, and a solar battery system to power it? A new study commissioned by Aussie fintech Plenti has found it’s simply not as expensive as everyone thought.

In fact, buying and running an electric vehicle (EV) is about on par with old school internal combustion cars over their lifecycle –  even when charged exclusively from the grid –  this is among a slew of new findings in Plenti’s landmark Solar-charged EVs in Australia study.

Results from the study released today and commissioned by Plenti (ASX:PLT) also found households charging their EV from a home solar-battery system can now look forward to a positive financial return over a 15-year period.

Drawing on a 3,000-respondent survey and other data, the study quantifies benefits of charging an EV from a household solar-battery system, where energy produced by rooftop solar panels is stored in a home battery and used to charge the EV in addition to the house.

The study forecasts households can expect savings of up to $12,000 compared with owning an internal combustion vehicle and using grid energy, and reduce their annual electricity costs to just $230

But most importantly – these households can also expect to reduce their carbon emissions by more than 80%.


Compelling EV and solar ownership case

Plenti CEO Daniel Foggo, a long-time advocate for the global renewable transition, spoke to Stockhead about the reasons the fintech asked Accenture for the updated research.

“We commissioned this study to better understand – and demonstrate – the tangible benefits in making this automotive and energy transition that is already underway elsewhere in the world.”

With both petrol and energy costs continuing to rise sharply, the benefits of solar-charged EVs is now clearer than ever, he added.

“It’s inevitably coming our way and Plenti is positioned to help Australian consumers, businesses and the environment benefit immediately and into the future,” the CEO said.

“According to our study, most people believe EVs are more expensive over their lifecycle than internal combustion vehicles – especially if they’ll be charging their EV from the grid. This perception remains a key reason why many people are yet to make the switch to electric,” Foggo said.

However, he said this perception is no longer accurate “with switching to EVs now a no-brainer for most Australians”.


Opportunity for Aussie Economy

Plenti says it’s not just household budgets that stand to benefit from accelerating Australia’s adoption of EVs.

According to Foggo, the new study estimates a market for EVs and new energy equipment worth $8.9 billion will emerge in just five years’ time.

“That’s an enormous opportunity for Australia’s economy – and the EV manufacturers, vendors and installers of renewable energy technology, and energy retailers who will benefit from these sales.

“Further, renewable energy systems deliver resource sovereignty and security, providing a bulwark against our increasingly volatile global supply chains.”


Global laggard in EV adoption

Foggo said Australia reversing the underperformance of Australia in switching to EV’s meant  addressing consumer misperceptions about their affordability.

“Key to this will be communicating the benefits of coupling an EV with a home solar-battery system – and we have a distinct advantage here, as Australia is a worldwide leader in solar-battery system installations,” he said.

“Finally, delivering lifetime cost benefits requires good value finance to assist customers with the higher upfront costs of EV ownership.”

Foggo said the EV finance solution Plenti launched late last year will speed up the inevitable transformation in Australia’s automotive and renewable energy sector by unlocking access to alternate energy solutions.

“We will continue delivering innovations that make access to renewable energy solutions easier and more affordable than ever,” he said.


Plenti enters retail energy partnerships

Plenti has also entered deals with major energy retailers including AGL Energy and Energy Australia.  Under bundled energy finance householders can pay for their home renewable energy system and usage costs on the same payment plan.

Accenture Managing Director, ANZ Sustainability Services Lead Shaun Chau said the report finds it makes financial sense to own an EV, and households can increase their long-term savings by adding a home solar and battery system to an EV purchase.

“With petrol and diesel prices soaring across Australia, EVs offer an increasingly competitive value proposition when compared to combustion engine vehicles, which is largely driven by the lower fuel costs of EVs,” Chau said.

He said pent-up demand for EVs is high in Australia, However, the biggest barrier to EV adoption is upfront affordability with Australians paying premium prices for EVs.

“This is due to a lack of subsidies, supply and range of available models when compared to countries with high EV uptake,” he said.

“The outlook for Australia’s future EV and home solar and battery system sales depends on the level of policy support available – as well as on the availability of sustainable finance.”

He said with stronger policy support, Australia could follow in the footsteps of Europe, China and California to grow its EV market by 6.5 times in the next 5 years.


This article was developed in collaboration with Plenti, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.