The Austrian government is the latest to jump into the electric vehicle testing field with a program called the Vlotte EV project. 100 electric vehicles will be operated in the first of several such programs around the country this year. This first test will be run in the Bregenz region in the western part of the country.
Norwegian EV maker Th!nk is expecting to provide most of the cars for this test program with its little Th!nk City. The first batch of cars were delivered in February. Like most such programs in various countries, this one will be focused on evaluating not only the performance of the vehicles but also the impact on the electrical grid and determining what will be necessary to support them. One important aspect is how to handle public charging infrastructure, including billing. Thanks to Luca for the tip!

[Source: Th!nk]

Austrian government and VLOTTE charge into EVs with Think

Through the 100 unit Vlotte EV project, the Austrian government is encouraging electric mobility with significant financial support. Electric cars are a key enabler to achieve their environmental targets and use of renewable energy.

The government initiated the Vlotte project which includes dedicated use of 100 electric cars as an important part of this plan to achieve environmental targets. The project was launched in the region of Bregenz this month with the purpose to fully demonstrate EV functionality as well as to understand electric cars' future impact on the electric grid. This initial project will become a role model for similar electric vehicle projects to follow in Austria.

"This is the first project of what could become several similar government supported projects in Austria in 2009. We are very encouraged to see the Austrian government and Vlotte take an active role in the transition to electric mobility" said Richard Canny, CEO of Think.

Deliveries of the first new TH!NK city EVs to Vorarlberger Kraftwerke in Bregenz took place end February. The total project is for 100 cars, of which Think expects to provide the majority of the vehicles. The cars will be used by utilities, municipals and several fleet operators.

"The future belongs to the electric vehicle. With the "Vlotte" ( project, we are making a reality today of something that is still discussed as future of mobility elsewhere. The Vlotte project is regarding mobility as an innovative energy service. This is a first example of the future link between the transportation sector, utility companies and information technology" said Dr. Eveline Steinberger, Managing Director of the Austrian Federal Climate- and Energy fund. The initiative promotes climate-related and energy-related research in Austria.

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