3 May 2023

EV launches at National Arboretum because 'what better place than Canberra?'

| James Coleman
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The new Cupra Born at the Cupra Garage Canberra, Phillip. Photo: James Coleman.

“What better place?”

It’s how Cupra’s head of marketing described Canberra when officially launching the Spanish carmaker’s first fully electric model at the National Arboretum last week before hundreds of motoring journalists, social media influencers, previous owners and interested buyers eager to get a close-up look at the new Cupra Born.

Typically, the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne are favoured for these types of events, but not for Cupra.

“This city has been the most progressive with electric vehicles,” Sergio Ripolles said.

“What better place than Canberra to launch the Cupra Born, our first electric car?”

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It comes as new data shows that nearly one-in-five new cars registered in the ACT is a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV), either powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells.

Registrations have tripled over the past year alone, rising from 6 per cent of new vehicle registrations in 2022 to 18 per cent so far in 2023. Almost 900 new ZEVs have hit Canberra roads this year, cementing the ACT’s place as the national leader for EV take-up.

Cupra is the performance arm of SEAT – owned by Volkswagen – and arrived in Australia in July 2022 with a range of copper-highlighted cars and a new way of doing business. Here in Canberra, the Cupra Garage on Melrose Drive, Phillip, will celebrate its first year in August.

Cupra Master Elliot Morgan described interest in the previously unknown brand as “phenomenal”.

“At the end of the day, we’ve had the highest number of orders and expressions of interest [in Australia] – relative to the population we’re covering – by a country mile.”

Elliott puts some of the success down to the fact Cupra eschews the traditional car dealership for the “agency model”.

Customers essentially buy the car – complete with any accessories – direct from the brand itself rather than the dealer. The sales consultant, or ‘Cupra Specialist’, is largely there to answer questions, talk through features and arrange services.

“We become the singular point of contact for anything the customer needs,” Elliot said.

“Canberrans tend to buy into more premium brands across various industries, so they are used to a high level of customer service, and that is missing in the automotive industry.”

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The new Born joins existing plug-in hybrid and internal combustion models in the Cupra range. It uses a 77 kWh battery to provide an estimated 511 km driving range and enough power to hustle it from 0-100 km/h in seven seconds. Pricing starts at $61,990 in the ACT, the lowest figure in the country due to the ACT Government’s stamp-duty waiver for EVs.

“Interest for the Born in the ACT and the surrounding areas has been very, very high,” Elliott said.

“We’ve got test drives booked every day over the next month. It makes sense why they hosted the launch here.”

man sitting in a Cupra

Cupra ‘Master’ Elliott Morgan in the new Cupra Born. Photo: James Coleman.

Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury said more EVs mean more will become affordable for more buyers.

“As the number of ZEVs increases on our roads, we will also see growth in both the second-hand ZEV marketplace and electric vehicle charging stations making EVs more accessible and affordable for households and businesses.”

The ACT Government has also recommitted to ensuring there are “at least 180 public EV chargers in the ACT by 2025”.

Five new ones opened last week: one in Dickson and the other four split evenly between the Canberra Southern Cross Clubs in Woden and Tuggeranong. All five offer dual spots and support simultaneous charging for two electric vehicles each.

These are among 35 chargers Evie is installing in partnership with ActewAGL, driven by the government’s recent $1.4 million investment.

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The ACT is popular for filming car ads. Watching these ads I recognise a few places. The Arboretum is a nice location and filming a car ad around Canberra would be good as it’s easy to drive around and Canberra’s landscaping is scenic.

Bob the impala1:57 pm 04 May 23

Batteries have never achieved increased energy density, ever.

If they have, then that is the end of development and they will never improve in the future, ever.

No vehicle manufacturer wishes to compete for market share with any other vehicle manufacturer for quality, efficiency or price gains. That is why none of them do any research and their boards of management make no changes of direction.

Anthropogenic climate change does not exist or should be subject to scepticism, said 7% of the Australian population and roughly zero percent of the world’s climate scientists.

I have just saved several people here from any further need to post.

You can thank me later.

Stop with the EV, seriously it’s not the Saviour, we are a family of Six, we need a large Petrol people mover, the range is over 650 kms, fully loaded with the Air Con on, Please ACT Gov, YOU have no idea.

the ACT Govt has drunk the EV Kool Aid and sadly can’t see the wood for the trees. I believe there needs to be a choice in how vehicles are powered to suit a variety of use cases. Yes biofuels are expensive, but so are EVs. But we keep being told that EVs will come down in price. If that’s the case, then biofuels should as well if they can have widespread support.

It is not feasible by any date that some politician dreams up to replace Australia’s entire transport fleet (cars, buses, trains, planes and trucks) so that none use fossil fuels.

Billy Monfries9:45 am 04 May 23

Well said.

Isn’t there an EV built for transporting a family of six?

A few, but bring your money, plenty of money

With EVs, its just a continuation of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”

The head long and appears to be pushing EVs via ideology, despite EVs being rather impractical and not solving the much hyped mythical “climate change”.

Heres the ugly reality – there is no solid scientific proof of catastrophic man made climate change, and EVs are allegedly part of the “solution” to what is in effect what appears to be a myth.

So logic dictates its not about “climate change”, but rather appears to be covertly removing freedom of personal movement by being tethered to the power grid. And EVs are heavy and consume a lot of rare earth metals.

“…there is no solid scientific proof of catastrophic man made climate change…”

You said you are an engineeer, stevew77. Apparently you are out of step with your peers in your denialist position on climate change action.

Engineers Australia, which you would know is the peak body for the engineering profession in Australia, has a clear policy in support of action on climate change (https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/policy-and-advocacy/climate-change).

Capital Retro10:15 am 04 May 23

“Engineers Australia, which you would know is the peak body for the engineering profession in Australia, has a clear policy in support of action on climate change”

Business is business, JS.

I mean, fossil fuels are evil according to you and your peers and while their use is being shunned in Australia the royalties they generate for us are keeping Australia afloat.

@Capital Retro
So, if ‘Business is business, CR, why isn’t Egineers Australia throwing it’s weight behing the industry which is ‘keeping Australia afloat’?

If ‘you and your peers’ is meant to reference the voting Australian public, who completely shunned the denialist rhetoric of the politicians you support, to give validation to action on climate change, then you have it right.

And I’ve never said “fossil fuels are evil” (I’ve simply accepted the science and agree there needs to be a wholesale reduction in emissions and am supportive of action towards net zero by 2050) … mind you fabrication of ‘the facts’ to suit your position is a common feature in your comments.

Capital Retro12:19 pm 04 May 23

From one of Engineers Australia’s policy statements:

“Engineers Australia believes that the future of Australia’s energy supply will be dependent on a strong engineering workforce. Engineers will play acritical role in the research, development, production and implementation of energy efficiency measures
and emerging technology options, helping to provide reliable energy to Australian consumers, while at the same time helping to meet Australia’s emission reduction targets”

That’s the “business is business” part taken care of. Supporting action on climate change is what everyone says – it’s meaningless.

I don’t support any politicians. If you don’t think coal is evil that means you are starting to acquire some common sense.

One can’t fabricate facts but the renewable lobby use excessive spin.

@Capital Retro
“Supporting action on climate change is what everyone says” – except you and your fellow denialitsts, CR.

Great quote from the Engineers Australia’s policy statement, but they are not only supporting action on climate change, they want to be a driver – “Our position statement supports rapid and wide ranging action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and adapt to the changing climate. It also recognises that practical, innovative engineering will be essential to achieving these goals.”

Yes as you say, you can’t fabricate facts – you can’t even fabricate spin successfully.

Ah, just because an organization may advocate something, doesnt mean its right.


Many peak bodies in other areas of industry support climate change – it means nothing.
I will stick with the actual science. CAGW is first and foremost a POLITICAL invention. It can only be political when science doesnt support it. The standard “appeal to authority” is laughable – as Jesus once said “When the bomnd lead the blind, both will fall into the ditch”. Smart guy.

Climate alters over 1000s of years and Co2 has been much higher than it is now and the earth is still here.

CAGW is a green religion for the guillible, and a trojan horse for those evil persons who are attempting to currently collapse our civilisation through green “actions” by destroying the energy and food infrastructures of our country, creating “15 min cities” to create limited travel ghettos, limiting movement/freedoms via EVs, and bringing in CBDCs to restrict ( ration ) resources.

Thing is, once you get past the UN AGenda 2030 flowery language, it all appears to be about trashing our civilization. Good thing we seem to be losing a lot of bodies to “sudden death syndrome”…which feeds into the whole green nightmare really well by reducing headcount on the plant. Austrialias excess deaths are up 20,000. Funny that.

I got as far as “I will stick with the actual science” in your post.
Given you consistently deny the proven science, I decided you’d post nothing worth reading further.

“just because an organization may advocate something, doesnt mean its right”

Absolutely true.

I just happened to google some of the signatories to Engineer Australia’s statement ‘Our position on
climate change’. I’m not an engineer, but I did find some highly credentialled and respected (within the industry) engineers.

So I think their advocacy is pretty credible.

The “climate science” that has been paraded can be easily disproven.

But tell me, where are the rising sea levels?

Where is the data the BOM apparenlty wont reveal for FOI requests? What does it show?

Temperature drives CO2, not the other way around – see the Vostok Ice Cores data.

Temperature started rising some 2 centuries ago before our emissions. – see the 1850 – 1979: Land thermometer record (HadCrut3 – UK Met Office Hadley Centre )

Huang and Pollack 2008 published borehole data that showed during the medaevil warm period the world was warmer than it is now.

This is science, let me know if you want more data.

And yet you see well educated people signing up to “interesting” groups all over the world.

“But tell me, where are the rising sea levels?”
Right here – from a scientific organisation: https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html#:~:text=Yes%2C%20sea%20level%20is%20rising,that%20of%20the%20current%20century.

I didn’t bother reading any further – I just assumed it was more denialist rhetoric.

Well good for you, Ill stick with actual science….

Hmmm – 80% of Australians think your ‘actual science’ is fantasy, stevew77 – I’ll stick with them

And thats your right to stick with the crowd, but to be blunt, 80% of Australians are not overly smart, and like it or not, most news media is setup for an average reading age of 12.

Most people also trust too easily.

As Goebbels used to say, and i specifically point at the fabricated climate change nonsense as being in the frame for this comment – “if you tell a lie once, its a lie. If you tell the same lie 1000 times it becomes “truth”.

Trust, but verify.

Only $62k – I expect every McDonalds worker to have one in the staff carpark

Bob the impala6:32 pm 03 May 23

Is that what McDonalds workers have today, a $62k car?

Perhaps you should look in the carparks where people who currently own $62k+ ICE vehicles work. It would save on silliness.

To paraphrase Maxwell Smart, you, “missed by that much”

Finagen_Freeman1:37 pm 03 May 23

Saw one out near Tuggeranong yesterday. Good looking and nippy away from the lights (officer).

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