• Oct 9, 2010
Blade Electron

Premier John Brumby of the Australian state of Victoria has announced the launch of one of the world's largest electric vehicle (EV) trials. With A$5 million in funding ($4.9 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) and more than 50 organizations and 180 residents participating, the five-year-long EV trial is epic in both size and duration. Sixty battery-powered vehicles, consisting mainly of small passenger cars built by Blade Electric Vehicles, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Nissan, will be placed in commercial and government fleets as well as into the hands of carefully selected residents of Victoria.

The trial aims to analyze the overall economic impact of EVs and shed light on the near-term future of battery-powered cars in Victoria. The Australian state also hopes to enact policies that will make EVs a desirable form of transportation for its residents. Premier Brumby outlines the importance of the state's massive EV trial like this:

Our Government is committed to making this state an electric vehicle friendly place and we understand how important cleaner, greener and innovative travel options are to Victorians. The Electric Vehicle Trial will create real-life conditions by testing how drivers, vehicles, plug-in charging infrastructure and the electricity network will work in everyday situations.

This is a real-world test of how these vehicles will operate in Victoria and that means we need Victorians to use electric vehicles and report back on their experiences. This is an exciting opportunity for people to be part of the development of low-emission transport options as we look for new ways to cut carbon emissions and provide greener travel.

The trial is outlined in excruciating detail here (PDF) and here, or you can hit the jump for more on Victoria's grand EV plans.

[Source: The Premier of Victoria]

PRESS RELEASE

ELECTRIC VEHICLES HIT VICTORIAN STREETS FOR UNIQUE TRIAL


From the Premier
Wednesday, 06 October 2010

Premier John Brumby today launched Victoria's groundbreaking Electric Vehicle Trial, with more than 50 organisations and 180 households across the state to participate in the five-year trial.

Mr Brumby was joined by Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas to announce details of a world-leading trial and encouraged Victorians to go electric and apply to take part through an RACV online ballot.

"Today Victoria is a step close to an electric vehicle future, with the start of a $5 million trial to make it easier for people to choose electric cars and bikes as more options become available," Mr Brumby said.

"Our Government is committed to making this state an electric vehicle friendly place and we understand how important cleaner, greener and innovative travel options are to Victorians.

"The Electric Vehicle Trial will create real-life conditions by testing how drivers, vehicles, plug-in charging infrastructure and the electricity network will work in everyday situations.

"This is a real-world test of how these vehicles will operate in Victoria and that means we need Victorians to use electric vehicles and report back on their experiences.

"This is an exciting opportunity for people to be part of the development of low-emission transport options as we look for new ways to cut carbon emissions and provide greener travel."

Mr Brumby said all the vehicles in the Electric Vehicle Trial would run on AGL GreenPower, which is 100 per cent renewable energy.

"Most of the vehicles will be small passenger cars. Some electric light commercial vehicles will be used in freight fleets, while electric two-wheelers will also be tested," he said.

"As part of the trial, charging points will be installed in homes of participants and in workplaces. Public quick charging points will also be set up for when an electric vehicle needs a top-up."

About 60 vehicles will be used in the trial and they have been provided by Blade Electric Vehicles, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan and EDay Life. Public charging infrastructure will be supplied by Better Place, ECOtality and ChargePoint.

Mr Pallas said the trial was about finding new ways of making electric cars more efficient and practical for Victorian families and roads.

"The vehicles will rotate between households and fleets for three months at a time, with the trial to look at their experiences and what type of charging infrastructure is needed," he said.

"We will provide the vehicle charging point and pay for insurance, while the households will pay the cost of electricity, which will be less than you would pay for petrol."

Applications to participate in the trial can only be made online through the RACV website at www.racv.com.au and opens today. A valid Victorian driver's licence is required.


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  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I recently bought the 2010 edition of owning an electric car book as I have my name down for a Nissan Leaf. The book has a chapter entitled Electric cars and the environment, within which it lists CO2 emitted in grams per kWh produced in 21 countries around the world. Granted China is not listed but I was shocked to find Australia at the top of the list at 936g with India a close 2nd at 930g. The USA comes in at 609g, the UK at 537g and France comes 4th from the bottom at 87g. The only countries below France are Sweden at 57g, Norway with 7g and finally Nepal with 1g!

      So I guess Australia must generate almost all of its electricity from coal which is a crying shame considering the amount of solar energy it receives per year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "So I guess Australia must generate almost all of its electricity from coal which is a crying shame considering the amount of solar energy it receives per year."

        Yes, you are correct most of our energy generation is from fossil fuels such as coal - see attached backup from ABS (Australia Bureau of Statistics):

        http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features80March%202009

        And yes it is a crying shame that we don't have more solar and wind generators - we have plenty of un-inhabitable desert to put the solar on - that is after ignoring the household PV systems - which admittingly is becoming increasingly popular.

        And its getting worse before it gets better with our current state & federal governments committing to yet more coal fired power stations.

        http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/coal-station-deal-raises-eyebrows-20100912-1570p.html

        Australia is dragging its feet when it comes to enviromental change and improvement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You could pay a packet for solar, but the only one which is even remotely economic ( and is still way, way too expensive ) is solar thermal.
        So you have to put the plant slap in the middle of some of the most water stressed areas, then use large quantities of water for cooling.
        Sure, dry cooling can technically be done, but that runs on heat differentials with the surrounding air, and at midday with air temperatures of 50C plus is very inefficient and would add still more to already costly power.
        Of course, Australia could simply build a couple of dozen nuclear plants on the coast, which not only could use sea water for cooling but as a by-product could desalinate water, so that most urban consumption would be provided in this way, relieving the water stress on the environment.
        The reason it is not happening is because of the ruthless campaign of FUD by the unlikely and unholy alliance of the fossil fuel interests and the self-proclaimed 'greens', exaggerating risks by several orders of magnitude and hiding the true enormous costs of their pipe dreams from the public in a welter of subsidy.
        The coal industry is happy to see as many vastly expensive 'renewables' schemes as possible, as that will leave the real job of powering the country to coal, just like in Germany where 41% of every electricty bill goes to pay for the fad, whilst they are planning another 24 coal plants to actually provide the real power.


        • 4 Years Ago
        Ironically it is the same state: Victoria that is considering the new coal power station in link above that announced this EV trial.

        We need big changes down here to get off our addiction to coal fired power generation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just politicians trying to do nothing while sounding like they're saving the world. Their friends in the oil industry are happy, the dullest of their constituents are hoodwinked and they haven't had to do a thing. Success!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I view it as positive - as it is the start of something and not nothing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It seems weird to describe this as a massive trial, lasting 5 years, when you are talking about 60 vehicles.
      There are hundreds of Mitsubishi iMiEVs running around, Peugeot has run 10,000 electric cars for years, and Nissan Renault plan to produce hundreds of thousands of EV's a year well before 2015.
      I can't think of any way this is a 'massive trial', save in the imagination of Victorian politicians.
        • 4 Years Ago
        David you are correct in terms as why it shouldnt be seen as big - but it is actually massive in Aussie terms on balance.

        When you considers the feds and other states are doing close to nothing with the introduction of electric vehicles - no tax credit incentives - no big rollout of EV plug-in fast chargers - not much of substance.

        Australia is not EV friendly to the Auto majors in relative terms.

        It is also big news as 3 of of 4 domestic automakers Ford, Holden and Toyota are all based in Victoria - so make it happen in Victoria and it will happen in Australia.

        Unfortunately that is how things are done down year - first its a report or inquiry then its a trial - then assessment of a trial. Then after the trial / report they decide to not do most of it - ie. don't relie on the expert opinion - I know this sounds cynical and is more representative of the recent federal government.

        Start political rant here:

        Politicians down here are too scaried to put their neck off for it to be cut off.

        We tend to have an ultra-conservative government - which is in a major part when our banks survived the GFC but all the cause why we won't take major advantage of our position we would rather continue to ship our coal & iron ore resources to China (I know this why our economy is strong in relative terms but... why not do more - export more of our manufacturing and intellectual talent for example).

        Also the state which I reside New South Wales (NSW) is broke so the trial wouldn't happen here any time soon.

        End political rant.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's a plot by fossil fuel companies to delay their demise, that is why this car is on "trial". If they sold this car to the general public now the fossil fuel industry would out of business tomorrow check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsJAlrYjGz8
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is how things work here in Australia, mate. A lot of thin air combined with some sophistated talk makes Australia again the...."world leader in this field". Just watch the news on TV.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A five year trail? wtf. Here in the states ordinary people are driving electric cars everyday and more buying them everyday.Nissan will be delivering thousands to the US in December. I bought one.How behind is Australia? wow
        • 4 Years Ago
        Very far behind unfortunuately.

        Refer to my comment above @ David Martin.

        I am still hopeful that we will see the Nissan Leaf here in 2012 though - tax credit or not.
      • 4 Years Ago
      AussieEVfan is completely right. one of our leaders believes in climate change, but as something the earth is doing naturally. what a dick.
      peak oil is what they need to focus on right now.
      I just wish my state would give me a grant to purchase a Zero S
      • 4 Years Ago
      more waste of taxpayers money.. what is there to find out that common sense will not answer?
        • 4 Years Ago
        precisely. total waste of money. what they should do is start a small series production company that does lean and mean EVs. utralight and aerodynamic. something that keeps going rather than a firm flush of 5 million dollars.
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