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Posts Tagged ‘cars’

Electric Vehicle Festival

Posted in Events, Movements by EcoCentre on February 18th, 2013

24 February , 2013
10:00 amto4:00 pm

EV fest st kilda

EcoCentre is all charged up about hosting an EV Festival in St Kilda on Sunday 24 Feb.

Here’s your chance to test drive a range of electric cars and cool E-bikes (pre-registration necessary for cars). Get up close and personal with low-emissions motoring and easy cycling technology – the future of private transport. Let’s embrace EV’s in urban Melbourne, like so many other parts of the globe that are striving for healthier cities.

Experts will give short talks at the Festival on related topics such as:
-How to recharge an electric vehicle for free using solar panels
-How to get your head around technology issues, including range, speed, charging and so on
-Pricing and trends

Register in advance for a test drive of an electric car at: .  Like our EV Festival Facebook site to go in the draw for a ride in a Tesla Roadster (pictured).

Where: Lower Esplanade, St Kilda
When: Sunday 24 February 2013, 10am-4pm
Enquiries: 9534 0670

Plug-in Hybrid Retrofit Kits for Any Car: Research project

Posted in Research by Kate Archdeacon on July 27th, 2012

Source: The Age

Photos by Andy Heidt for MTSU

From “Do-it-yourself hybrid” by Barry Park:

A cheap bolt-on kit will one day be able to turn most ordinary cars into fuel-sipping plug-in hybrids, US researchers say.

Engineering technology students at the Middle Tennessee State University have fitted a 20-year-old Honda Accord wagon with a retrofit plug-in hybrid system that powers the front wheels using the conventional petrol engine, and a pair of electric hub motors hidden inside the rear wheels.

Users are then able to plug the hybrid car into an ordinary power point to charge up a set of lithium-ion batteries mounted in the wagon’s load space.

The batteries in turn feed electricity into the hub motors to provide low-speed power that is able to help the conventional petrol engine accelerate – the most fuel-hungry part of driving.

The bolt-on kit was developed in recognition of the fact that many drivers in the US only travelled about 70 kilometres a day at speeds below about 70km/h.


Read the full article by Barry Park on the Age or read more about the project on Middle Tennessee State University’s website.

Better Place: EV Network for Canberra 2012

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on July 5th, 2011

Source: Climate Spectator

From “Green Deals: EV Pricing Takes Shape” by Giles Parkinson & Samson Adams:

Electric vehicle network operator Better Place has formally sealed a deal to bring the first switchable battery vehicle, the Renault Fluence ZE, to Australia next year, and to provide a new model for managing the costs of transportation. The deal between Better Place and Renault extends an arrangement in Israel and other countries, where the car manufacturer agrees to import the Fluence and use the Better Place infrastructure to charge the vehicle, as well as the battery swapping stations, which Better Place says will take as little time as it does to fill a car with petrol.

The first cars will be deployed when the Canberra network is launched in early 2012. The pricing arrangements for the five-seater Renault have not yet been announced, but it is expected to be around $30,000 for the car only, comparable with other medium-sized cars. Better Place will then offer a battery leasing arrangement that will include the cost of the battery, access to charging stations at home and in public areas, and the cost of the electricity, as well as navigation services, 24-hour customer service and support.

Better place argues that a “fixed price for mobility” will free car owners from the constant volatility of petrol prices, and the cost or repairs of a vehicle engine with hundreds of moving parts. “When you buy a petrol car you are effectively signing a contract to bring it back to the oil cartel once or twice a week and promise to buy petrol at whatever price they say,” Better Place Australia CEO Evan Thornley said. “Our subscription will cover everything and it will be competitive with petrol.”

It is expected that the Better Place arrangement will be attractive for consumers who currently spend $80 or more a week on petrol. In Israel, the Renault Fluence is being sold for $33,100, with monthly subscription priced at $350 for an annual 23,000km package, or up to $430 for a 30,000km package. The network will be open for other EVs to charge their cars, but Better Place is confident that other manufacturers will eventually produce EVs specially tailored to its network and its rechargeable battery model.

Read the full article on Climate Spectator or visit Better Place Australia.


The cars that ate Melbourne….?

Posted in Research by Ferne Edwards on April 1st, 2008

The section below is republished with permission from the Going Solar Transport Newsletter #52, 25 March 2008, compiled by Stephen Ingrouille. Going Solar, This newsletter provides an excellent commentary on local sustainable transport issues in Melbourne.

The Cars That Ate Cities
“When youre in traffic these days, four-wheel drives are everywhere. Most of them are registered in the cities and rarely leave the bitumen. They can be deadly urban assault vehicles. Many of them guzzle fuel at a rate that makes the big Falcons and Commodores look like petrol misers. And the toxic emissions that many four-wheel drives spew from their exhaust pipes can rate up there with small trucks. Four wheel drive sales have boomed over the past decade; they now make up about a quarter of all new passenger vehicles sales in this country. In contrast, regulation by the federal and state governments is going at a snails pace. Its been a similar situation in the United States, where four-wheel drives now rule the roads. New Australian safety research youll hear about on todays program adds to the concern. …Actually here theyre now officially called Sports Utility Vehicles, or SUVs, as theyre called in America.”
Ref: Stephen Skinner, Background Briefing, The Cars That Ate Cities, Radio National 15/6/03
Read the full transcript:

'SUV anyone?' by Kaddy