ReNew Issue 131

Electric vehicle special

In this special issue, we look at the electric vehicles (EVs) available now in Australia – and what’s coming soon. Plus we consider how EVs work, what they’re like to drive, how to manage charging, and whether EVs can be used for energy storage. This issue also updates our popular battery buyers guide with details on the latest in energy storage for household renewable energy systems. We also look at solar financing, energy assessments, an off-grid home/holiday weekender/bike shop in WA, a DIY solar watering system and much more!

Issue Contents:

Issue 131 is hot off the press and full of advice for your sustainable home this autumn. As always, ReNew comes overflowing with articles to satisfy both the technically and the not-so-technically minded. Regardless of whether your interest is electric vehicles, batteries for on-grid or off-grid systems, solar financing, energy assessments or DIY solar watering systems, there is something for everyone in this issue.

ReNew 131 has ‘electric vehicles’ as its focus. Inside you’ll find:

Special feature: electric vehicles

EVs in Australia: why are we waiting?

Bryce Gaton explores the current and future market for EVs in Australia.

Know your renewables: all about EVs

Lance Turner looks at how an EV is different from an ICE, energy recovery from braking, what it’s like to drive an EV, why buy an EV and why aren’t we all driving them, and battery lifespan, cost and materials.  Plus we answer your burning questions about charging.

A tale of two EVs

An owner of two electric vehicles, Richard Keech shares his experience and reflects on electric cars in general.

Your EV’s other life

EV by day, grid backup by night? Kristian Handberg explains how EVs could help in the energy storage equation.

EV charging infrastructure

Tim Washington considers the relationship between charging infrastructure and EV sales, and lessons for Australia from the US experience.

Best EVer stories

From running an EV off-grid to a desire for more sustainable transport, EV owners share the stories behind their choices with Robyn Deed; plus thoughts on the Tesla Model S from fan Simon Hackett and e-bike opinion from Rebecca Lee.

Everything’s going electric

Planes, buses and bikes: Lance Turner takes a look at other transport options that are ditching fossil fuels.


Battery buyers guide: get the right energy storage

Lance Turner examines what to look for in a battery bank for your household energy system’s needs, whether on-grid or off-grid.

Other Features

Off-grid in WA

Jai Thomas describes his parents’ journey towards their sustainable work and lifestyle.

Solar financing

Andrew Reddaway considers whether there are savings to be found in financing your solar install.

100 home energy assessments

Tim Forcey shares the process and lessons learnt in a recent round of home energy assessments.

Book reviews

Reviews of Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and George Marshall’s Don’t Even Think About It: How Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.

The Pears Report: Electricity industry potential

Alan Pears considers the opportunities and risks as the electricity sector continues to broaden.

Member profile: Walking the talk, step by step

From growing up green in Germany, to leading environmental groups in Australia, ATA’s board president Ralf Thesing talks to Eva Matthews about the stages in his journey.

Motorised valves—not an open-and-shut case

Motorised valves are ideal for use in water distribution systems that run on low pressure, such as rainwater tank systems. But there’s more to them than meets the eye. Patrick Innes explains what to look for.

Off-grid water systems

Martin Chape explains how he replaced a power-hungry bore pump with a low-cost solar unit and automated his watering system at the same time.

Going off-grid slowly

Stan Baker details the steps he’s taken towards going fully off-grid.