Shorten comes unstuck on electric car charge claim
OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten would only be able to drive an entry-level electric car for 9.5km on 10 minutes of charge from his Melbourne home in Moonee Ponds.
The electricity, sourced from a standard home port, would give Mr Shorten just enough juice to roll into the city's CBD, which is only 7km away, but he wouldn't be able to make the return trip.
Mr Shorten last week claimed drivers could fully charge their electric vehicles in just 10 minutes but analysis of the driving capabilities of entry-level vehicles shows that claim to be inaccurate for most vehicles and charging stations.
Instead, those who fork out $45,000 on the cheapest electric vehicle, a Hyundai Ioniq, need to wait four hours for a complete charge in a standard home port.
This gives them a maximum driving range of 230km, or 57.5km for every hour of charge.
The figures present a problem for Labor's Shadow Environment Minister Tony Burke, who would barely get halfway from his home in Punchbowl to Sydney's CBD on 10 minutes of charge.
Instead, his car would probably roll to a stop around Marrickville, 11km away.
Mr Burke said the charge time wouldn't be an issue for him because he prefers to catch public transport.
"Technology is constantly improving and I usually walk to Punchbowl and catch the train," he said.
On Sunday, Mr Shorten backed away from his claims that electric vehicles could be charged at home ports in 10 minutes.
"In terms of the technical specifications of how long it takes to charge electric vehicles, that depends on the technology and the charging station, it depends on how flat the battery is," he said.
A spokeswoman for Mr Shorten said the Labor leader's comments were accurate if a driver used the super-fast chargers which can pump between 250kw to 350kw.
Labor intends to build 100 of the new charging stations if elected at a cost of $2 million each. "Labor's $200 million fund for electric vehicle chargers will support installation of super-fast chargers at 250kw to 350kw," she said.
"For owners with EV batteries around 40-60kWh (the most common battery sizes currently), an 80 per cent charge would take five to 10 minutes after travelling 300-400km."
However, the Hyundai Ioniq, and most of the cheaper electric vehicle models, will not be able to take advantage of those charging speeds as their batteries have charge capacity caps.
The Hyundai Ioniq tops out at 50kW, according to Hyundai's vehicle guide, which allows the car to fully charge a battery in 30 minutes at a commercial-grade charging station.
Only those who can afford the most expensive electric vehicles will be able to take advantage of Labor's super-fast chargers, which enable the 10-minute charge Mr Shorten referenced.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Shorten's comments on charging times showed he did not understand the electric vehicle market.
Poll has Coalition closing in on Labor
The Coalition has received an upsurge in support from voters and moved to within striking distance of Labor after promising $302 billion in personal income tax cuts in last week's Budget.
An exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian shows a significant four-point turnaround for the Coalition as Prime Minister Scott Morrison prepares to call an election, possibly making his announcement as early as next weekend.
With the Budget forming the platform for the Coalition's election campaign, the Morrison government has moved into competitive territory against Labor trailing 48/52 on a two-party preferred split.
The Coalition was trailing behind 46/54 a month ago when the last poll was conducted.
The Coalition's primary vote has risen two points to 38, while Labor has dropped two points to 37.
The polling reflects the best result for the Coalition since Mr Morrison took over the Liberal leadership in August last year.
It also shows Mr Morrison surging ahead of Opposition leader Bill Shorten in the category of preferred prime minister.
The PM's personal approval has jumped three points to 46, while Mr Shorten has dipped one point to 35.
The 11 point gap between the pair is the largest it has been since last year.
It follows a week in which Mr Shorten has been on the back foot over his plans to get 50 per cent of Australians out of petrol and diesel-fuelled cars and into electric vehicles by 2030.
The Coalition's poll surge comes as voters look on the latest Budget favourably to help deliver cost-of-living relief and an improvement in personal financial circumstances.
One Nation dropped one point on its primary vote in the latest poll to six per cent after a rolling scandal over claims a senior staffer had sought to solicit $20 million from the powerful US gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.