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The Electric Car drives by Canberra

By caf - 28 October 2008 58

As reported in News Limited and The Register, a consortium of Mac Bank, AGL and the naff-named Israeli group “Better Place” is planning on raising $1 billion to create a network of supporting infrastructure (charging stations and the like) for electric vehicles, like the Chevy Volt. The Federal Government is also kicking in a cool half-billion as well.

Unfortunately for those Canberrans who’d like to jump on board, it looks set to completely pass us by. The network is to be rolled out to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane by 2012, with the backers saying they would “look at introducing the infrastructure in Adelaide and Perth after 2012” – no mention of any of the rest of the country at all.

What’s Your opinion?


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The Electric Car drives by Canberra
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Thumper 10:18 am 03 Dec 08

Don’t horses fart and breathe?

Bag ’em and have another alternative source of energy.

Don’t horses fart and breathe? Both are causes of carbon emissions. Perhaps we need to reduce the number of people on the planet who are breathing. I vote we kill all people who give their kids bogan names.

Thumper 10:11 am 03 Dec 08

The major problem we have here is that to create the amount of fuel that would be needed to run the planet, hundreds of thousands of hectares of jungle need to be cleared for intensive cropping.

A balance is needed.

Or a horse.

p1 10:06 am 03 Dec 08

wont cause millions of starving kiddies in Africa,

I am not bashing bio-diesel, but it is using what could otherwise feed the starving African kids to transport people to the drive through to pick up McDonalds.

neanderthalsis 9:38 am 03 Dec 08

peterh said :

when will we see cars that can run on alcohol and electricity? using plant derived oils?

this would spell the end of fossil fuel reliance…

Bio-diesel; I use it in the Rover when ever I can get my hands on some.

It is easily derived from high yield granola and canola crops, wont cause millions of starving kiddies in Africa, is renewable and uses less water than most other grain crops. As long as they are sensible about where they grow it; not like growing rice in Mildura…

Also, there are some interesting projects underway using plant waste to power smallish (15KVA) generators in QLD. They’re running the GenSet on the methane generated from banana waste and getting good results.

Can this Mitsubishi do a burnout?

Seriously, though, is there any information about energy use variance based on driving style? Surely, like a petrol powered vehicle, heavy throttle use will chew through the stored electricity more quickly.

mglew 9:05 am 03 Dec 08

The Mitsubishi iMiev will be released in 2009 – is that soon enough for you? There’s also and electric Hilux currently driving around in Canberra – it’s no wonder you hadn’t noticed, it’s silent… 🙂

AEVA hope to have these cars and more on display at the 2009 Electric Vehicle open day, October 4 2009 outside Old Parliament House (West Lawns).

Checkout http://www.aeva.asn.au for details as they come to hand, and to see what electric vehicles are in existance now!!!

If the Dept of Environment (etc) can’t get it right, how can the public expect to get it right 🙂

Drought anyone?
I certainly don’t think we should ever become dependant on biofuel, so I consider building any infastructure around it as redundant. If anything it just helps prolong the use of combustion engines, so unless hydrogen combustion is part of the eventual solution it’s a waste of time.

Is all of Australia in drought? I wouldn’t have thought northern QLD or NT was, although I haven’t specifically researched it. Sugar cane can be grown in those places. It’s important to understand the difference between ‘rain not fall enough’ and ‘city not have enough water’.

Also, biofuels can use much of the same infrastructure as existing fuel. You don’t need substantial distribution or vehicle modifications, although the manufacture of the fuel itself will of course be new.

hax 3:43 pm 30 Oct 08

Just for the record, I believe hydrogen/electric is the future 🙂
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-6B9jYQFm8

hax 2:59 pm 30 Oct 08

Drought anyone?
I certainly don’t think we should ever become dependant on biofuel, so I consider building any infastructure around it as redundant. If anything it just helps prolong the use of combustion engines, so unless hydrogen combustion is part of the eventual solution it’s a waste of time.

It would better to start setting up our cities for electric cars, in conjunction with cleaning up our electricity supply sources (and continuing to advance battery / energy storage technology)
We should not wait for one, to do the other.

It’s good to explore a range of options – but some time (soon) we need to focus on a single end-goal and work expediently towards it. The magnitude of new or updated infastructure required for any solution is simply too big, slow, and expensive to try and do them all at once.
We need to focus on a long-term winner at some stage..

radonezh 11:20 am 30 Oct 08

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

What about situations like the Australian sugar cane growers whose industry has been almost wiped out? Sugar cane has high biofuel yield potential, and has very little impact on third world children.

Indeed. Brazil runs on the stuff and it saved their economy so many times because the sugar industry wasn’t just reliant on exports of sugar.

The only problem with biofuels is the millions of third world children you’ll kill by taking arable land out of food production.

What about situations like the Australian sugar cane growers whose industry has been almost wiped out? Sugar cane has high biofuel yield potential, and has very little impact on third world children.

Skidbladnir 10:39 am 30 Oct 08

But think of the many millions who’ll never be born into suffering and economic slavery as a result of killing their parents before they could conceive!
So its almost like we’d be doing future non-generations a favour by running our machines with human suffering…
</sarcasm>

johnboy 10:27 am 30 Oct 08

The only problem with biofuels is the millions of third world children you’ll kill by taking arable land out of food production.

Emissions in themselves aren’t always a problem. With biofuels, the emissions are simply releasing carbon dioxide that was removed from the atmosphere while the plant from which the fuel was made was growing.

taco 10:19 am 30 Oct 08

Biofuels may still create emissions, but their emissions contain much fewer pollutants, and are a renewable energy source (considered carbon neutral because the carbon released was just recently removed from the atmosphere, and will be reabsorbed by the next crop)
They also have the advantage of reducing our dependency on foreign oil and the price fixing by global cartels such as OPEC

Just because a solution isn’t perfect, it shouldn’t be ignored

All electric may be the future ideal, but the obstacles of battery technology, power distribution etc still need to be overcome, and biofuels can be used in our existing petrol fleet and the transitional hybrid cars

hax 1:39 am 30 Oct 08

fnaah said :

… so people should continue to burn fossil fuels in internal combustion engines until the grid is 100% renewable, yeah? That’d be a great time to start looking at making better EV’s.

Or maybe we should start on better ev’s now, to encourage less burning of fossil fuels right now *and* push for greater renewable electricity.

Totally agree.

And I think anybody talking about using anything starting with “bio” is on the wrong track – they all still create emissions, don’t get sucked in just because it sounds “natural”..

taco 8:12 pm 29 Oct 08

radonezh – nice pipe dream on the cheap energy – that’s kinda what they thought would happen with nuclear power way back – electricity so cheap that there wouldn’t even be a need to meter it…

I’d really like to see Australia deploy the world largest solar farm out in one of the deserts – we’re one of the most solar rich countries, it’d fantastic if we actually tapped into it.

There is a lot of work going on with solar cells to either make them much cheaper, including a process that essentially prints the panels like an inkjet printer. If we can get them cheap and durable it’d make a lot of sense to replace roof tiles with solar panel tiles like you mentioned.

I saw one plan for a hybrid car that had solar panels on the roof, but the idea for that was to help run the air conditioner/stereo/etc rather than charge the battery. Apparently the power generated wasn’t enough to be bothered trying to charge the battery with, and it makes sense to run the aircon on solar because the solar exposure would be highest at the same time you’d want to use it.

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