Posts Tagged ‘electric vehicle’

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.

Electric Vehicles and Sustainable Transport Infrastructure

Posted in Events by Mark Ogge on March 26th, 2012

2 April , 2012
6:30 pmto8:00 pm

Beyond Zero Emissions Discussion Group Guest:

Joan Manuel Fernandez Mendoza is PhD candidate from The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). His studies focus on the life cycle assessment of urban transport infrastructures.

He is researching different types of infrastructures required for different modes of transportation (i.e., sidewalks and urban squares for pedestrians/cyclists, streets for motorized vehicles, charging systems for electric vehicles, refuelling systems for conventional cars, etc). The aim is to develop guidelines and criteria for the promotion of sustainable and eco-friendly designs that minimize the environmental burden of the built environment of cities related with personal mobility. Joan will also share his experiences about living in Barcelona, a leader in urban form and sustainable city design.

6:30pm – 8pm,  Monday April 2

Entry: Gold coin donation

Fritz Loewe Theatre (entry via level 2)
McCoy Building
University of Melbourne
Cnr Elgin & Swanston Streets, Carlton

For more information about our guest, visit the Discussion Group on the Beyond Zero Emissions 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.


Australia Post Electric Bikes: ATA EV Interest Group

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on June 17th, 2011

22 June , 2011
7:00 pmto8:30 pm

Photo: Simon O’Dwyer

ATA Electric Vehicle Interest Group June Meeting: Scott Dickason, Electric Vehicles Pty Ltd.

Electric Vehicles Pty Ltd are attending to the assembly & delivery (& continued development) of electric bicycles & tricycles for Australia Post Delivery Centres throughout Australia. Scott will discuss the new Australia Post/Electric Vehicles Pty Ltd delivery initiative & outline current developments in the electric bicycle/tricycle industry.

Wednesday 22nd June at 7pm
Room EN615, The Engineering Faculty, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus
Visit the EVIG website for more.

From the March 2011 article by Deborah Gough:

Australia Post this year will bring back the bike for posties with 1000 new push and electrically assisted bicycles and tricycles after trials in Victoria and New South Wales. Victoria will get about 430 bicycles, mostly to inner suburban areas, where postal rounds are often flatter and more densely populated. The service has also signed up for an electric van in the Victorian Department of Transport’s electric vehicles pilot program. Nationally there are 378 bicycle rounds now and the new figures will nearly triple that number but will still be dwarfed by motorcycle rounds, which sit at about 6300. Andy Trott, Australia Post’s head of sustainability, said it was too early to determine how many rounds would be converted from motorcycle to bicycle but expected it to cut carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions by more than 1000 tonnes each year. “As one of the nation’s largest employers . . . Australia Post is in a unique position to introduce improvements to our operations that will have a real impact on reducing our environmental footprint,” Mr Trott said.

Electric Vehicles: Local Manufacturer Seeks Survey Participants

Posted in Seeking by Kate Archdeacon on May 16th, 2011

Image: jurvetson via flickr CC

“Do you think Electric Vehicles the future of our daily lives? Do you have thoughts to share about this important topic? This is your opportunity to participate in a private online forum sponsored by a major vehicle manufacturer about the future role of Electric Vehicles in every day life. Your opinions will directly influence the makers of business decisions within the motoring industry. This is genuine research, not a sales pitch. Click here ( if you’re interested, we’d love to hear from you.”

Background Information from the Market Research Agency:

Latitude Insights is a market research agency who on behalf of a major vehicle manufacturer has been asked to run a short 6 week online community to offer [Sustainable Melbourne] site visitors the chance to have a critical impact in helping to make important business decisions for the manufacturer. We believe that this is a unique opportunity for your visitors to be directly involved in having their opinions and thoughts heard directly by a leading vehicle manufacturer in Australia.

Please be assured that in no way are we trying to sell you or your members anything at all at any stage both in the survey or in the community itself. The client who has commissioned this research is launching an electric vehicle to the market and is requesting feedback from those who would be interested in purchasing such a vehicle to ensure that they are best placed to make this a commercially viable launch. They see the importance that EV’s will have in the future and see this as their first step in ensuring that the public is informed about these cars both now and in the future.

Regarding the image above – as far as I know, Castrol has nothing to do with this survey – I just thought the poster was too good to miss.  KA

Achieving Sustainable Transport: ATA EV Meeting

Posted in Events, Movements by Kate Archdeacon on March 23rd, 2011

23 March , 2011
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Image: Electric Bike On An Electric Train by Buddhabless via flickr CC

Speaker – Patrick Hearps of BZE (
Convenor: Mario Giannattilio

  • How can we achieve an emission free transport system?
  • Where do bikes and e-bikes fit in?
  • What do we do with freight deliveries?
  • What about long distance travel?
  • What are the problems that have to be overcome?

Patrick Hearps is a Chemical Engineer and is currently a Research Fellow in Energy & Transport Systems at the University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute. He was a lead author on the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan and is now co-ordinating the ZCA Transport Plan.
Patrick will give a brief overview of the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan, released in mid 2010 which details how Australia could be powered by 100% renewable energy in ten years. He will then talk about the progress to date on the Zero Carbon Australia Transport plan, currently underway, which will detail the requirements for a transport system compatible with a zero-emissions future. The main focus of this is electric vehicles in combination with upgraded and extended electric rail networks for freight & passenger transport, covering all aspects of intracity and inter-regional travel, which can be run of 100% renewable electricity.

Wednesday 23rd February at 7pm, in the Engineering Faculty, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus.

See the ATA EV website for more information.

ATA Electric Vehicle Meeting

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on February 22nd, 2011

23 February , 2011
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

Source: Alternative Technology Association (ATA)

“Converting a BMW”  – Barry Murfett
“Capstone Microturbines”  – Mark Aboud

Barry will talk on the decisions he made in converting his BMW and the trials and tribulations he encountered along the way. A great talk for those who are contemplating a conversion AND a good opportunity for those who have already converted a vehicle to compare notes.

Mark will talk on the Capstone range of Microturbines. These units can be used in Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Industrial, Educational, Wastewater Treatment Plants, Aquatic Centres and Data Centres where co-generation and tri-generation applications exist.  They come in a range of 30kW to 1MW and can run on a variety of fuels including Low or High Pressure Natural Gas, Biogas (landfill, wastewater treatment centers, anaerobic), Flare gas, Diesel, Biodiesel etc.

For all of those people who cannot get to the meeting – we will again be webstreaming it. If you cannot get to the meeting and would like to watch it on your computer log in to it here. This webcast allows you to interact with us via “chat” sessions so you can ask us questions as you watch.

Wednesday 23rd February at 7pm
The Engineering Faculty, Swinburne University, Hawthorn Campus

Visit the ATA website for more information.

Electric Vehicle Rally & Racing Car Competitions

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on November 30th, 2010

12 December , 2010
10:30 amto4:00 pm

Photos courtesy ATA EVIG

The ATA‘s Electric Vehicle Interest Group is holding their inaugural rally, The Future of Transport, on Sunday December 12, in conjunction with the Formula SAE competitions where both Swinburne University and the RMIT University will be competing with their electric racing cars.  Everyone is welcome.

What is Formula SAE all about?

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is an international organisation that encourages Universities and Colleges to build a racing car each year to a specific formula – Formula SAE. The event is now into its 10th year with the first being held in 2000. This year there will be 27 teams from Australia, New Zealand, America, India, Japan and South Korea attending.. Two teams have entered electric cars (Swinburne University & the RMIT University) and 3 teams will be using E85 (ethanol blend). The cars are judged on a number of criteria including endurance and fuel efficiency – not just speed!

The rally will include electric vehicles (EVs) on display, food stalls and vehicle charging stations, so take your own EV along if you have one (let the organisers know ahead of time if you need access to a charging point, please).

Displays will include:

* A variety of electric bikes, mopeds and several high powered registerable electric motor bikes (including one of 8kW)
* Numerous Retro-fit vehicles where you can talk to the owners
* The Aurora solar race car
* Several Blade electric cars
* An electric quad bike
* An electric go cart
* Information on a home grown electric hill climb car
* An electric 4 wheel drive Kawasaki Mule
* Several EV charging stations ( petrol stations of the future )
* A trailerable biodiesel generator
* A demonstration PV charging station
* Crown Coaches electric hybrid bus
* An ATA stand with goods for sale

Bring your EV to show it off.  Invitations are open to anyone who has an electric vehicle (car, bike, truck etc) to come along and be a part of the experience.

How to Get There

1. Electric car or electric bike
2. Electric hybrid bus (see below)
3. Electric train – $3.10 Sunday Saver all day full fare ticket – when you get to the Hoppers Crossing station call us on 0433 187 702 to be picked up by the electric hybrid bus or another electric vehicle)
4. OR – heaven forbid but if you really want to stay in the last century – use a fossil fuelled vehicle

Sunday 12 December 2010, 10:30am to 4pm
Victoria University (Werribee East campus), Hoppers Lane, Werribee (Melways 206 J6)

More details on the website, including maps, contact details and an opportunity to make the entire trip in an electric coach.

All Australia Energy Conference 2010

Posted in Events by Kate Archdeacon on October 1st, 2010

6 October , 2010
7 October , 2010

All-Energy Australia 2010 is a free-to delegate, business-to-business exhibition, conference and networking forum showcasing renewable energy, clean coal, carbon sequestration and energy efficiency. It targets no single solution, but embraces all opportunities within the clean energy market.

The exhibition & conference runs over 2 days, October 6 & 7.

VEIL (Victorian Eco-Innovation Lab) will give two presentations as part of the Built Environment sessions:

Distributed Systems for Low Carbon & Resilience: Distributed systems represent an innovative approach for responding to risk and uncertainty. They can build adaptive capacity by increasing the diversity and flexibility without locking utilities, customers and future governments into rigid pathways for delivering critical services. By creating distributed systems through infrastructure design choices at the building-to-precinct-to-regional level, societies can reduce social, economic and environmental vulnerability to climate change and energy supply shocks.

EcoAcupuncture – a new approach to retrofitting in neighbourhoods: A case study from Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s West Eco-Acupuncuture is a new model and a new process to design small interventions that can redirect the forces that shape development, to deliver a number of new low-investment, highly visibility, projects that act as catalysts for change. A year long exploration and trial of this process in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows (in collaboration with the City of Hume) has produced some startling results.

Visit the Exhibition website for more information.

CERES Electric Vehicle Conference 2010

Posted in Events by ceres on July 29th, 2010

Since 2007 CERES – Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies – has been involved in retrofitting petrol cars to electric drive to demonstrate how Australia’s existing car stock can be used to build an Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet, minus the carbon emissions that result from the manufacture of new cars.  CERES’ latest project aims to provide small business, local councils and rural delivery services with a non-polluting transport option by pioneering the conversion of one of Australia’s most popular delivery vans, the Mercedes Sprinter.

As part of this project, CERES Green Technology is holding an Electric Vehicle Conference to provide interested individuals, auto mechanics, small business, local councils, researchers and educators with practical information about undertaking roadworthy EV conversions, and driving EVs.  Spend a day with Australia’s top EV experts to learn about the practical side of converting cars to electric drive.

Download a conference program.

Sunday 29 August, 2010
9am – 5pm
CERES Van Raay Centre – Cnr Roberts and Stewart Street
East Brunswick, VIC 3057

Early Bird Tickets – $110 (before 1 Aug 2010)
General Tickets – $150

Tickets can be purchased from the CERES Visitor Centre
Tel: 03 +61 (3) 9387 2609