Transport future is electric

Mass adoption of electric cars imminent in Australia, Women In Supply Chain industry event hears

Transport future is electric
Transport future is electric: expert

By Anna Game-Lopata | October 21, 2011

The momentum towards electric cars in Australia is gearing up with the imminent launch of the first
infrastructure network for electric car drivers 100 percent powered by renewable energy.

A Women In Supply Chain (WISC) event in Melbourne last night heard about plans to launch Australia’s first fully integrated, customer-focused solution for electric cars.

Jessie Giles from Better Place, the developer of a new battery switch model for electric cars told the Victorian Transport and
Logistics Industry Round Table women's group
Australia is on the cusp of a profound transformation in sustainable transport - the mass adoption of electric cars.

"Governments, car manufacturers and financial markets the world over have made the call," she says.

"Electric cars have emerged globally as a favoured technological option for combating environmental issues in the transport sector such as air pollution and rising carbon emissions."

In Australia, transport is the second most significant contributor to carbon emissions, producing 14 per cent (79.1 Mt CO2) of overall carbon emissions. Passenger transport contributes 53 million tonnes of carbon to our atmosphere every year, approximately 9 percent of our national total.

"Better Place is accelerating the transition to electric driving through the delivery of a green infrastructure platform that is critical for Australia, especially as we move towards a low-carbon future," Giles says.

Giles says Better Place has begun deploying its electric car network in Canberra, and aims to progressively roll it out nationally to give Australia the world’s largest electric car charge network by the end of 2013.

Launched globally in 2007, Better Place has so far raised almost $750 million
for its operations, of which A$25 million will be used in Australia for
the company's
planned charging and services network.

"Oil dependency is the greatest challenge facing humanity in the 21st century," Giles says .

"We believe we can do something about it, by accelerating the switch to electric driving. Our vision is of a world no longer dependent on oil."

In 2011, Better Place secured its first renewable power purchase agreement with ActewAGL, worth $60 million over 10 years.

"We also partnered with Renault Australia to bring the world’s first battery switchable car, the Fluence ZE into Australia from next year and presided over the purchase of at least 1000 electric cars for GE’s fleet by 2015.

"Switching to electric cars powered by renewable energy sources is one of the most effective ways of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

"Every petrol car that is replaced by an electric car prevents between four and six tonnes of carbon emissions entering the atmosphere every year," Giles says.

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