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Trial complete: electric vehicles can work in Australia

By Thomas Bräunl

Perth trial finds few technological barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles in Australia, but government incentives for early adopters and government programs for the roll-out of fast-DC charging stations would help Australia fully embrace these cars.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Australia’s first electric vehicle trial has been completed. It ran from early 2010 to the end of 2012 with 11 electric Ford Focus and 23 fast-AC charging bays (Level-2). We found few technological barriers to the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia, but government incentives for early adopters and government programs for the roll-out of fast-DC charging stations would help Australia fully embrace these cars.

The cars

When we started the trial, no electric cars from major manufacturers were available in Australia. Because of this, we used converted Ford Focuses. The conversions were performed locally by WA company EV Works. Each car was equipped with a 23kWh battery pack, a 27kW DC motor and a 1000A motor controller.

The cars were used as regular fleet vehicles by our 11 project partners from government and business, demonstrating their usability for everyday driving.

The cars achieved a road-tested driving range of 131km on a single charge (dynamometer testing resulted in a 143km range). This significantly exceeds the driving range of a Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which achieved a 112km range under identical road-test conditions.

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