Premier John Brumby launched the Australian state of Victoria’s Electric Vehicle Trial, with more than 50 organizations and 180 households to participate in the five-year, A$5-million (US$4.9-million) trial. (Earlier post.)
About 60 vehicles will be used in the trial and 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; infrastructure for households will come from these companies and DiUS Computing. All the vehicles in the Electric Vehicle Trial will run on AGL GreenPower, which is 100% renewable energy.
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.—Premier Brumby
Most of the vehicles will be small passenger cars, placed into households and commercial and government fleets. Some electric light commercial vehicles will be used in freight fleets. The trial will also look at electric two-wheelers , as well as include some locally manufactured electric vehicle conversions.
Households for the trial will be selected through an application process which will run annually to 2012 through the RACV website. Fleets have already joined through an invitation to participate process at the start of 2010. As far as possible, fleets and households will be close to each other so that charging infrastructure is accessible to both.
Roads and Ports Minister Tim 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. 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.—Minister Pallas
A survey of the trial participants indicates that over the life of the trial 500 new jobs will be created, bringing in excess of A$43 million of investment to the state. As part of the Climate Change White Paper Action Plan, the Victorian Government will also provide additional support to encourage local design and manufacture of innovative electric vehicle technologies.
The trial will look at the overall economic impact of the electric vehicle market in Victoria. It will use lessons from the trial to predict what Victoria’s electric vehicle future might look like. It will also consider what kinds of policies would make Victorians more interested in driving an electric car.