Electric Vehicle Trial

Four SECCCA councils (Mornington Peninsula Shire, Frankston City Council, City of Kingston and City of Casey) are participants in the Department of Transport’s Electric Vehicle Trial. Over the three months from early December to early February, MornPen and Casey will be driving Toyota Prius hybrid plug-ins and Frankston and Kingston will be driving their Mitsubishi iMievs about their daily business, all the while capturing every bit of data about the vehicle performance and its capacity to allow council to go about its business. Charge points have been installed at each council so the car is plugged into the grid each night to recharge for the next day’s operations.

The photos attached tell the story of the handover day when councils took delivery of their shiny new machines. Actually, it is the grins that tell the story.

Electric vehicles will start to become a feature of our motoring life in Australia from 2011. The article below was written by SECCCA EO Greg Hunt after he attended a briefing from Better Place about their planned roll-out of EVs.

Four SECCCA councils (Mornington Peninsula Shire, Frankston City Council, City of Kingston and City of Casey) are participants in the Department of Transport’s Electric Vehicle Trial. Over the three months from early December to early February, Mornington Peninsula and Casey will be driving Toyota Prius hybrid plug-ins and Frankston and Kingston will be driving their Mitsubishi iMievs about their daily business, all the while capturing every bit of data about the vehicle performance and its capacity to allow council to go about its business. Charge points have been installed at each council so the car is plugged into the grid each night to recharge for the next day’s operations.

Becoming a Better Place!

When Evan Thornley turned down Premier Brumby’s offer of ministerial leather in January 2009, it was because he was off to a Better Place. He preferred the appointment as CEO of the company of that name that will roll out electric vehicles across Australia from 2011. Incidentally, we can see now the wisdom of that judgement.

Better Place has decided that local government has an important role in this roll out and so met with the City of Casey recently. Greg Hunt of the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (Casey is a member council) attended this meeting and reports as follows:

Might I summarise the meeting as nothing short of exhilarating? We are on the threshold of a transformation in private transport in this country and in the world.

To accompany your Nissan LEAF, your Mitsubushi iMiev or your Peugeot plug in or any of the cars being developed by most of the major manufacturers, you will buy an energy plan from Better Place. The plan is based upon 100% green power, so the generators will have investment security to move into greater quantities of renewable generation. Better Place will install a charge station at your home and perhaps workplace so that your car is recharged overnight or while you are at work. Smart technology will determine the best time to recharge, given the demands on the electricity grid over a 24 hour cycle. This travel between home and work will cover around 80 % of all vehicle trips. When you hit the highway, you can pull in at a battery transfer station that will look a bit like a car wash. These will be stationed at appropriate intervals along the road, perhaps co-located at servos or food stops. A robotic arm will lift out your almost spent battery and replace it with a fully charged one and you resume your travel. The battery goes on to the rack of chargers for filling up and future use. There is little chance of going flat as the smart on-board technology will let you know your remaining charge and therefore range at all times. If you ignore the warning and come to a stop, the inclusion of the RACV in the partnership with Better Place means that they can do a roadside assist and zap you with a fast charger.

It gets better. Major energy companies are involved with Better Place for their battery transfer stations, with their electricity storage capacity and need for large amounts of electricity, offer a means of storage for all that daytime solar and all that wind energy being generated at night when there is little other use for it. The charging stations offer a great means of flattening out the peaks and troughs of electricity supply and demand and responds to the renewables will never provide base power sneer.

There is a trial of 100 plug-in taxis under way now in Tokyo, Israel will shortly receive national cover, followed by Denmark and then Canberra gets under way with 1000 privately-owned vehicles in the second half of 2011.

The guys we met with are revolutionaries and this is the revolution that we all need. I came away with my brain racing with all of the possibilities – these are the meetings that make the job sing, Greg concluded.

Project

Electric Vehicle Trial

Start   Finish Ongoing
FUNDER/GRANT

Download Project Info (PDF)