Various organisations in Western Australia have committed to an electric vehicle (EV) trial, spearheaded by the University of Western Australia, CO2Smart and the WA Government.
Perth was chosen for the trial due to its area being almost double that of Sydney, putting greater strain on electricity and other infrastructure. CO2Smart, the official trial manager for the project, says that if the vehicles prove to be usable and economical in Perth, they will be usable and economical anywhere in the country.
Launching on Friday, a prototype for the fleet was announced as a converted Ford Focus sedan which will recharge via a network of specially implemented work, home and public recharging stations which are being set up for the trial. The first car has been converted by the W.A. Renewable Energy Vehicle Team at University of Western Australia, after which a local electric vehicle firm will be chosen to complete the remaining nine vehicles to the agreed blueprint.
The West Australian newspaper, RAC, Telstra, Landcorp, Main Roads WA, City of Perth, City of Swan, Water Corporation, Department of Environment and Conservation, and Department of Transport will all participate in the trial.
RAC spokesperson Adrian Firth told CarAdvice that the motoring body was looking to use its EV in a real world work situation.
“The RAC is likely to utilise the EV as a ‘lite’ Patrol vehicle in the CBD”, said Mr Firth.
He also explained how the vehicles would be charged.
“The charging station provider is still to be finalised but will be a level 2 charging station for fast charging, approximately the size of a bollard,” Mr Firth said. “This is similar to Better Place’s recharging stations not their battery swapping. There will be a recharging station at RAC’s Head office in Wellington Street and at its motoring operations centre in Balcatta.”
According to CO2Smart, the following objectives will be covered in the trial: