Minister for Roads Terry Mulder today announced another leap forward in the Government's electric vehicle trial, with Melbourne's newest public charging spots now open at Federation Square.
Mr Mulder said the two new charging spots provided important infrastructure for the continuing trial as consumer and industry interest in electric vehicles gains momentum.
"The new charge spots are great news for drivers. They bring the total number of publicly available charging spots under the trial to 16, making it more convenient for drivers to park and plug in at locations across Melbourne," Mr Mulder said.
The charge spots are installed by Better Place Australia and located on the open-air top level and level 3S of the multi-level Federation Square car park. They are available free to trial participants, and can also be used by electric car drivers with a Better Place subscription. They deliver approximately 20-25 kilometres of range per hour of charging.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to investing in sustainable transport and we're excited by the news today that the proof-of-concept electric Holden Commodore will also be joining this important trial," Mr Mulder said.
"The Coalition Government and its Electric Vehicle Trial partners will be working with the team at EV Engineering in Port Melbourne to incorporate the new electric Commodore into the trial along with existing participants Mitsubishi, Nissan and Toyota. This is a great sign of growing industry interest and broadens the scope of data to enable a truly successful trial."
EV Engineering is a consortium of automotive manufacturers and component suppliers that are developing seven proof-of-concept electric Commodores. The cars will be driven by EV Engineering staff throughout the trial.
EV Engineering CEO Ian McCleave said the news was a great example of government and private enterprise working together to achieve a common goal.
"We are delighted to join the Electric Vehicle Trial, as the data collected will enable us to analyse driving patterns and user behaviour, and compare the car's performance to other vehicles in the trial. A like-for-like comparison is a vital way of understanding how we can improve and refine our proof-of-concept electric versions of one of Australia's most popular cars," Mr McCleave said.
Holden has also announced today it has joined the Victorian Electric Vehicle Trial with its fleet of extended-range electric Volt vehicles. Holden has been running left hand drive Volt vehicles as a demonstration and engineering fleet since December 2011. The first right hand drive Volts make their debut on Melbourne streets this week, driven by Holden employees as part of a trial.
The Coalition Government's Electric Vehicle Trial will run until mid-2014 and will help Victoria to better understand the process, time lines and barriers for making the transition to electric vehicle technologies.
Over the life of the trial, 180 households and 60 fleets will experience what it's like to own an electric vehicle. Applications for people to participate in the 2013 round of vehicle allocations will open later this year.
Visit www.transport.vic.gov.au/evtrials for more information.