With months of stratospheric petrol prices, Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) chair Rob Ogilvie says there has never been as much interest in electric vehicles (EVs). And to add, well, fuel to the fire, the ACT Government has announced plans to ban new fossil fuel vehicles from being registered in the ACT from 2035 onwards.
“What are people going to buy come that date? We need to start that journey now,” Rob says.
For many, that journey could start this Friday (5 August) at the EV Expo at the Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC).
EV Expo offers attendees the chance to learn more about the growing range of EV models available in Australia as well as demystifying topics such as charging, range and conversions.
“And there’s some really cool stuff coming,” Rob says.
For starters, the exhibition will be the launch pad for a new Australian EV ute, the Roev One. Built on the trusted chassis of the new Toyota Hilux, the Roev swaps out the diesel drivetrain for a 100 kWh+ battery. This can also be used to power your house at night with an in-built vehicle-to-grid (V2G) system.
Lennock is also bringing along the new CUPRA Born, an electric hatchback and one of three new models brought to Australia this year by Volkswagen’s Spanish cousin.
Several established players, including Polestar, Nissan, Audi, BMW and Porsche will have cars on hand for test drives. After all, experience matters, according to Rob.
“One of the big things is people getting to have that experience in riding in an EV, and we’ll have 25 cars each day available,” he says.
It’s not just about cars either. The event also features exhibitors from REV Bikes, Savic Motorcycles, Evoke Motorcycles, VAYA and more showcasing their range of motorcycles and scooters.
“Then we’ll have talks on charging, fringe benefits tax, the real cost of ownership, conversions, electric motorbikes and more.”
The event begins with an EV Conference on Friday aimed at government officials and fleet owners. More than 45 academic, technologists, industry and political minds will take a seat on discussion panels to discuss the state of play for EVs in Australia.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr, ACT Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), ActewAGL, CIT ACT, and NSW and ACT Fire and Rescue will be in attendance.
Rob says it will be “all about how to make the EV world work”.
“Promotion of EVs is key, but we also have real questions that need real answers and we want to see what we can get out of it. How are we going to get supplies? What sort of changes do we need to make? How do we manage EV fires? How do we electrify heavy vehicle fleets? And more.”
The Conference costs $90 per person and is followed by a Gala Evening at the National Portrait Gallery from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm for $132 per person.
Saturday and Sunday make up the EV Exhibition and the public is free to attend; however, registration is required for COVID-19 reasons.
So far, Rob says interest in the event is strong, with close to 5000 pre-booked tickets.
“People are starting to say, ‘I might not be ready to buy an EV yet but I will be soon, so let’s have a look’. And that’s what the EV Expo is all about – come in, sit through a couple of sessions and understand more, so it’s not so daunting.”
The AEVA 2022 EV Expo runs from Friday, 5 August to Sunday, 7 August at Coorong and Buddawang Pavilions, EPIC. The Conference runs from 7:30 am to 5 pm on Friday. The exhibition is open from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Buy tickets or register online.