The announcement will bring 500 new jobs to the LaTrobe Valley, but don't expect to see SEA Electric dealers popping up any time soon.
A new SEA Electric factory will be built in Morwell, Victoria, set to employ 500 workers manufacturing pure-electric vans and buses on a 20,000 square-metre site.
Although initial production capacity will be 2400 vehicles each year, the Victorian Government – which is helping fund the new factory as part of its $266 million LaTrobe Valley Support Package, designed to aid the transition from coal-reliant employment in the region – says the facility will be fully scalable, with headroom to double that output when required.
Two vehicles will be assembled in Morwell: a delivery van, and a 15-seat minibus. Power in both comes from a 70kW/340Nm motor capable of pushing the E4V and E4B to 50km/h in around five seconds.
Top speed is limited to 100km/h, while the 70kWh battery is reportedly good for 320km with a 650kg payload. Charging takes around four hours on a fast three-phase connector, or 'overnight' on a regular 240V port.
SEA Electric already has a facility in Dandenong, and has previously developed an all-electric rubbish truck. Don't expect to see SEA dealers popping up anytime soon, though.
At the moment, the E4V/B will be shipped direct to Australian and New Zealand customers, with potential to build the car in left-hand drive if overseas markets start emerging.
“Our announcement today, in partnership with SEA Electric, is all about making sure that the Latrobe Valley is the national capital for electric vehicles,” Daniel Andrews, Victorian Premier, said at an event in Morwell.
“This is 500 manufacturing jobs, 500 new jobs in this proud region, putting together (electric) vehicles. It will be a particularly big facility.”
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