4 August 2022

Canberra’s first electric car and bike expo comes to EPIC

| James Coleman
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EVs on the shore of Lake Burley Griffin

The EV Expo will be held at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) over three days from Friday. Photo: James Coleman.

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).

READ ALSO Clean cars don’t need big batteries – here are your options beyond 2035’s fossil fuel ban

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.

READ MORE Kia’s new EV is actually the perfect car for Canberra’s winter

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.

Polestar is a new player in the Australian EV market. Photo: James Coleman.

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.

READ ALSO Could Canberra’s waterways be used for commuting? We pit a car against a boat to find out

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.

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This isn’t the first electric vehicle expo for Canberra, the ACT Electric Vehicle Association held the first in 2009 at Old Parliament House. It included several modified vehicles where the original ICE had been replaced with an electric motor and battery set, and there were joy rides up and down Parkes Place in some of the early Teslas. They held a couple at OPH, then moved to Civic for a while, then held them in conjunction with the Living Green Festival at Albert Hall.

Now, an electric bike I would like, but not an electric car, yet, as it can’t do what I want it to do without huge inconvenient. An electric powered bike though, I am seriously considering buying. I said I would not get an electric bike before the age of 60 and would continue to ride my non powered bike. Now years beyond that, so about time I got one.
Actually, much of what some people think they need an electric car for, an electric bike would suffice, and it doesn’t need as much power.

Capital Retro9:48 am 04 Aug 22

““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”

More taxpayer subsidies and incentives, perhaps?

Must be time once again to remind you of the vast subsidies and incentives received by fossil fuel companies, today and throughout the past. Selective memory much?

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