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Victorian government funds electric commercial vehicle strategy

The government is backing a Geelong manufacturing company to help the industry transition from diesel engines to electric


The Victorian government has granted Geelong-based SEA Automotive more than $500,000 to aid its development of electric-powered commercial vehicles.

The financial support, which stems from the $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund, will allow SEA Automotive to complete the first stage of its commercial vehicle manufacturing facility.

Rather than producing vehicles itself, SEA plans to install modular electric drive power pack systems into medium-duty trucks.

The company also has plans to rejuvenate trucks by retrofitting the system into existing diesel-powered vehicles, allowing for a more cost-effective transition for fleet operators.

Victorian minister for energy, environment and climate change Lily D’Ambrosio says the funding is designed to support high growth, high value industries, of which electric vehicles are one.

“This remarkable project will cement Victoria as an electric vehicle powerhouse,” D’Ambrosio says.

“We’re proud to be rebuilding much needed confidence in the renewable energy industry while providing jobs for automotive assembly workers.”

Expected to require 80 highly-skilled, automotive assembly workers in the Geelong region over the coming four years, the SEA Automotive plan has a longer term strategy of creating its own commercial vehicles.

The long-term planning is welcome news for those in Geelong, the member for Geelong Christine Couzens says, especially after the recent closure of the Ford manufacturing plant.

“This is an extremely important announcement for the Geelong community and we welcome these new jobs,” Couzens says.

The Victorian government says this grant is one of 24 that will be announced over the coming months.

The $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund is sourced from the $200 million Future Industries Fund. 

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