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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hitching a ride on an electric car trial

DCSCA is exploring how Drysdale & Clifton Springs can make use best use of the Victorian Government's five-year Electric Vehicle Trial, which is due to start later this year.

The trial aims to understand how Victoria can best make the transition to electric vehicle technologies. It will include around 60 passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and two-wheelers (such as motorbikes), rotating between different households and fleets. It will include 76 companies, such as providers of electric vehicles and infrastructure, electricity retailers and fleet operators.

Later this year, the Victorian Department of Transport and the RACV will select 180 households from those interested in taking part in the trial. Each household will receive an electric car for three months. Households will pay for their own electricity during the trial (but will find it's cheaper than filling up with petrol), and will record data about their experience.

DCSCA's interest in the electric car trial's potential for the Bellarine accompanies its suggestion that the proposed trial of an electric car service for Geelong should include Clifton Springs; and its bid for a Green Zone Drive event - highlighting low emission vehicles - for the Bellarine. Each of these events could be a foundation for a post-carbon economy and DSCSCA is keen for the Bellarine to be seen as a 'case study' or 'demonstration project' of such an economy. (See related postings on this blog: 'Bellarine electric cars' 6 August 2010; 'Councillor carries locals' hopes to Tokyo' 27 September 2010; 'A "Green Zone" event for the Bellarine?' 28 September 2010.)

The electric vehicle trial will help to raise public understanding and acceptance of electric vehicles and will address the barriers to their adoption. It will collect information on the growing market for electric vehicles in Victoria, on electric vehicles' performance and efficiency and on their implications for electricity demand and for gas emissions.

Other countries - including the UK, Canada, the USA and Portugal - are holding trials of electric vehicles. The Victorian trial will examine how different technologies, approaches and providers work together; and will involve several types of vehicles, several charging infrastructure providers and several electricity companies, reflecting the variety of providers and approaches that are likely to develop in the market.

A combination of manufacturers' data and desktop analysis shows that electric vehicles powered by Victorian-produced coal-fired electricity produce slightly more greenhouse gas emissions than comparable petrol vehicles. However, electric vehicles have no exhaust emissions, thus improving air quality in areas of heavy traffic.

For more information, go to 'Projects' at

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