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The peak body representing manufacturers and importers of new vehicles, the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), has taken steps to prepare for the introduction of plug-in electric and electric-hybrid vehicles into the Australian market.

Mitsubishi has already gained government approval under the Australian Design Rules (ADR) for it to register the MiEV electric vehicle in Australia and GM Holden has said it will begin selling the Volt, currently being developed by Chevrolet in the US, from 2011.

The FCAI has established an Electric Vehicle Working Group, which met for the first time this week, to address a range of issues.

“Many manufacturers have announced plans to release electric vehicles in the next few years and we must ensure that Australia is ready for this technology,” FCAI Chief Executive Andrew McKellar said.

Chevrolet Volt in Testing

The Electric Vehicle Working Group will identify the types of vehicles expected to be introduced, anticipated infrastructure needs as well as issues involving technical and registration requirements.

“Around the world the automotive industry is investing in a vast array of new technologies and fuel types to enhance environmental performance and reduce vehicle emissions,” he said.

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“Electric vehicles represent real progress and the automotive industry is working to ensure that Australia is positioned at the forefront of this emerging technology,” Mr McKellar said.

“The working group will consult relevant external stakeholders as well as state and federal governments to ensure a nationally-consistent approach is maintained,” he said.






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