The first every day electric car this side of the world has gone on trial in Australia! The trial involves 10 electric vehicles to be used in government and private fleets over a two year period. The car is a converted Ford Focus sedan, which will give users the opportunity to learn about the technology and take advantage of the expertise that exists in Australia, using a familiar model. Additionally, there are a limited number of electric vehicles available for purchase in the country, which made obtaining enough of them for the trial impossible. The Ford Focus made an excellent choice because of its weight, space, price and the resale value of unused parts.
Accompanying the trial will be a charging station installed at the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in West Perth. The station has the capability of charging the car in half the time of a regular household outlet and is accessible via a swipe card that records information about charging times and patterns.
The purpose of the project is to analyse and evaluate the data collected from the trial vehicles and assess what needs to be done to get Western Australia (and eventually New Zealand and the world over) ready for the future of electric cars!