ReNew Issue 139

Autumn issue – Making transport more sustainable, hot water guide and more

ReNew 139 delves into sustainable transport, with a new look at where the EV market is heading for all types of vehicles, including a special spotlight on the fastest growing transport sector worldwide: e-bikes. We gain insights from several EV owners with great stories, including an EV charged from solar and a home charge station on the public charging network. We also update our efficient hot water buyers guide – perfect if a new system is on your horizon or if you are transitioning to an all-electric house. Plus: DIY thermal imaging to find draughts, a solar + battery system saving students money, building with nature in mind, whether hydrogen is a viable fuel, the pros and cons of driverless cars, the future of long-distance travel, selecting plants for your garden and much more!

Issue Contents:

Issue 139 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 using thermal imaging to find leaks in your building envelope, hot water system options, how to charge an electric vehicle from the sun or what’s happening to make long-distance travel more sustainable, there is something for everyone in this issue.

ReNew 139 has a special feature on sustainable transport. Inside you’ll find:

Special feature: Sustainable transport

Phasing out fossil fuels

In a story we don’t often hear, fossil fuel use is plateauing at the same time as economies, such as China’s, are growing. Peter Newman explores what’s going on.

Who’s at the wheel

Will driverless cars transform our cities for the better? Transport expert John Stone explores the pros and cons.

The emergence of e-bikes

With e-bikes the fastest growing transport sector at the moment, Elliot Fishman looks at what’s happening in Australia and worldwide.

Market acceleration

The EV market has grown phenomenally in both sales figures and options—though not so much in Australia. Bryce Gaton describes what’s happening worldwide.

Keeping your EV battery healthy

The core part of an electric vehicle is its battery pack so you’ll want to give it the longest possible life.

EV owners tell all

From PlugShare to a plug-in Prius conversion to charging from the sun, eight electric vehicle owners describe how they’ve made an EV work for them.

The future of long-distance travel

Hyperloop, high-speed rail and electric planes: Lance Turner takes a look at where we’re heading.

Hydrogen as a fuel

Are hydrogen-fuelled vehicles really a viable alternative? Lance Turner takes a realistic look at using hydrogen for transport and energy storage.

Other features

Battery bounty

The split incentive with solar savings going to tenants rather than owners means apartment buildings often miss out on solar. This project shows it can be done, and with batteries as well.

Selecting plants for your garden

Indigenous, non-indigenous native or exotic: which plants will grow best and which are the most sustainable? Warren Worboys from the Australia Garden gives guidance.

Building with nature in mind

Richard Proudfoot describes their house and garden build in the sub-tropics, and the birdsong-filled results.

DIY: the energy detectives

After using thermal imaging to find and fix leaks from window frames and around heating ducts, Jean and Barry Lambert are almost looking forward to their winter energy bill!


Hot water savings: Efficient hot water buyers guide

If your old hot water system has seen better days, maybe it’s time for an efficient replacement. We show you how solar and heat pump hot water systems work, what’s available and how to choose one to best suit your needs.

Water heating ways

Five reader stories and five different systems that illustrate there’s more than one way to get into hot water!


The Pears Report: Don’t mention the war

Tony’s war on renewables may be ongoing, but what has been the effect? It’s not such an easy war to win, writes Alan Pears.

Member profile: Ten years in a (non-)leaky boat

Get the building envelope as good as you can before focusing on the bling, says long-term ATA member Dr Wendy Miller. She talks to the ATA’s Richard Finn about what she’s gained at home and at work in her two decades in the sustainability arena.