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A lovely overgrown lawn. Image by Cynthia Shahan, CleanTechnica


Does It Cost You More To Run Your Lawnmower Than Your Car?

I used to own the only Tesla Model 3 (probably the only electric car) in my suburb of Bracken Ridge 18 km from the central business district of Brisbane. Now, I see another red one at the local supermarket, a grey one at the library, and a few white ones just cruising around. As my grandmother would say in a strong Yorkshire accent, “They’ll be common as muck soon!”

Image by David Waterworth

One of the reasons may be that electricity is relatively cheap in Australia (roughly 20 cents per kWh) and petrol is relatively expensive ($1.50+ a L depending on the price cycle). We are at the top of the cycle now, with petrol costing $1.75 in Queensland.

I recently wrote a post on Facebook showing a photo of a traffic jam caused by a metropolitan petrol station that had somehow missed the call and left their prices low. I got caught up in this in my non-petrol-using vehicle. I got lots of comments on the Facebook post, and this one below was the best. The author has given me permission to use it.

Picture of Tess taken at a disused servo on the way to Warwick (about 160 km west of Brisbane). Image courtesy of David Waterworth.

“Costs more to run my lawnmower than my car — I had to fill up a 10L tank for my lawnmower the other day, cost me $15.23. I got paid my quarterly power credit of $7 about a week ago, which includes all my car charging apart for some public charging of around $2. I did approximately 8000 kms in that time. It’s sobering to think it costs me more to run my lawnmower than my car.

“It was funny, I parked my TM3 outside the fuel station within sight of the teller. She asked me if I wanted a Frequent Fuel card after I paid for the fuel. Instinctively I laughed and said, “Are you serious?” and I pointed to my car and informed her my car doesn’t run on petrol.” —Tony Elms, Model 3 Facebook page.

I recently had the need to fill up my can of mower fuel. As I walked into the servo office, another customer remarked that it was strange to see a Tesla parked at the bowser. I indicated the tin, then asked the two checkout operators what they thought the future would like for them. They shrugged and said same as now, except they — indicating the bowsers outside the window — will be EV chargers. I fear for their future and their jobs when it costs more to mow your lawn than it does to run your car.

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].


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