ACE-EV gains $5 million manufacturing support

SA brand welcomes government funding backing in 2020 Budget

ACE-EV gains $5 million manufacturing support
ACE-EV's Cargo light commercial offering


Fledgling Australian electric vehicle maker ACE-EV has been allocated $5 million by the federal government towards its manufacturing ambitions in the new year.

ACE-EV, short for Australian Clean Energy Electric Vehicle, plans to launch with two models, the Cargo light commercial vehicle and Yewt ute in October 2021, and follow up with the Urban passenger car in 2022.

It’s reported the $5 million will be primarily spent on a bi-directional vehicle to grid recharging trial, with up to 40 ACE Cargos and Yewts built as part of the trial.

Its model line-up has been designed in Germany and Taiwan and is based around a modular carbon-fibre chassis "that takes only 18 hours to assemble".

The vehicles will be built in Adelaide by Aldom Electric Vehicle Manufacturing.

At the moment, all models feature a 30kWh lithium-ion battery pack, 18kW e-motor and a range up to 180km, with as-yet unspecified drivetrain upgrades "coming before production commences".

Pricing is forecast to start somewhere around $40,000 and vehicles are available to reserve now.

"That $5 million is a pivot and shows there is a change in sentiment here in Australia," ACE-EV founder Greg McGarvie says of the funding towards EVs.

"It gives us a bit of encouragement. Someone else thinks what we are doing is worthwhile. We know it is because it is the future.

"My focus is getting something built and developed that is good for the next generation and pivots Australia into an era of smart manufacturing."

More on ACE-EV's steady rise in Australia, here

ACE EV hopes to eventually build up to 20,000 units per year and export its technology.

"We are in quite advanced discussion with a number of different countries and they are looking at adopting what we call our assembly pod," McGarvie says

"In effect that would mean we would fly some of their technicians out to Australia, they would work on our production line and understand the culture and technology.

"We would help them with the design and set-up of their assembly plant and then they have a pop-up auto industry in a country that may not be able to afford an auto industry.

"If we are successful in demonstrating the capabilities of this – and there is a lot of appetite for this in Australia to see it succeed – then it puts Australia up there as a world leader in electric vehicle capabilities."

He notes ACE EV plans to spend $20 million on a development centre and estimates it would cost $295 million to develop an assembly plant in the Adelaide suburbs.

ACE EV recently announced it was starting an autonomous vehicle trial with Melbourne artificial intelligence solutions provider SenSen Networks.

Independent South Australian senator Rex Patrick is credited for backing the firm’s ambitions.

"I have been lobbying the federal government for several months to support establishing an Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF) in Adelaide's northern suburbs, and thankfully the government has listened," Patrick says.

"The announcement in the Budget is welcome news not only ACE EVs and their suppliers, but also for South Australian manufacturing.

"The Facility will see vehicle manufacturing brought back to SA for the first time in three years since the closure of the Holden factory in 2017."

Patrick says there are many advantages of EVs.

"EVs reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality, lower noise pollution, reduce cost of ownership for individuals, business and government through lower operating and maintenance costs and will also help to reduce Australia’s fuel security vulnerability.

"As we work towards a post Covid-19 future, all levels of Government should be looking at increasing our manufacturing capability and EVs can play a big part in this."


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