The RPC factory has been abuzz with excitement this month, with the purchase of our first 100% Electric Vehicle, a Tesla Model 3.

Transport is currently Australia's third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. This means that although Australian households are rapidly adopting Solar to save money and reduce their CO2 footprint, transitioning our transportation network away from fossil fuels is a critical piece to solving the climate change puzzle.

Around the world, car manufacturers are rapidly pivoting vehicle production over to electric vehicles, (EVs). Every major manufacturer is releasing 100% electric models within the next 2 years. Some manufacturers such as Volvo have announced they will stop selling fossil fuel vehicles within 5 years. This transition is coming not a second too late as vehicles have an effective life of over 30 years. This means vehicles purchased today will still be in service in 2051! It therefore stands to reason that if we are to reach net zero emissions by 2050 then all new vehicles purchased need to be zero emissions vehicles.

RPC has been waiting patiently to make an EV purchase and this year a range of production EVs became available that fit our budget and meet our transportation requirements. The RPC sales team are often out on the road, and do a 250km round trip to the coast and back to conduct site inspections. RPC had identified that first generation EVs such as the Nissan Leaf did not meet our requirements, as it only had 150km range.

This year a new range of EVs became available at an affordable price. RPC reviewed models such as Hyundai Kona, Nissan Leaf 2, MG ZS and Tesla Model 3. This group of new-generation EVs have a range of 4-500kms and cost between $55-65k. RPC is therefore proud to announce the acquisition of our first 100% electric vehicle, a Tesla Model 3. Although this is more expensive than other similar-sized vehicles, the numbers become closer once fuel costs are considered. Our current sales vehicle is a diesel Hyundai i30. At the time of purchase, this was the most fuel efficient people mover on the planet. The i30 costs approx $12.50 per 100km. The Tesla model 3 will cost $3.00 per 100 km. When we look at running costs over a 10 year period (20,000km/annum) the i30 costs $25,000, the model 3 only $6000, a saving of $19,000 annually.

Perhaps more importantly, RPC will also be using the vehicle to develop and test EV integration with both our On-Grid and Off-Grid solar power systems. We are looking to optimise charging of EV batteries, reducing costs for our customers and learning to channel 100% renewable energy into our customers' car batteries. While EVs are still a relatively rare sight in our local area so far, we hope that this will change sooner rather than later, as car manufacturers develop electric vehicles more suited to our terrain and environment. The NSW Government's recent announcement of their updated EV Strategy offers further support, by providing incentives and phasing out stamp duty on eligible EVs, along with building a network of ultra-fast charging stations.

As part of our EV project, RPC will be installing a publicly available, 4-station EV charger. Charging during the day will be free to the public. We hope this helps encourage early adopters and reduces range anxiety.

We are patiently waiting for the release of other Commercial EVs such as the Cyber Truck, Rivian Ute and electric F100 next year. At the current pace of development we could potentially see RPC with a full electric vehicle fleet by 2025.

Long live the rEVolution!

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