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.