Geelong’s sustainable motor enthusiasts

Meet the Alternative Technology Association’s Geelong EV Branch. You could describe them as nerds who take pleasure in spending endless hours on solving mechanical and electronic challenges as an expensive hobby. But you could also see these men and women as some of the true climate-champions of Geelong – carbon-pioneers with a heroic mission. Because they are not just talking about cutting emissions, they are making the shift happen with their own hands.

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In a slow and relaxed pace, a group of motor enthusiasts in Geelong are doing what the whole world at this point and time ought to be as occupied with to the same extent as the American and British army was with building airplanes back in the first years of the Second World War: Converting their old, polluting and petrol-powered cars into carbon-free EVs – electric vehicles.

Once the work is done, at a price of around AUS$ 20,000, the members of the group are able ride around the city with the reputed ‘EV-grin’ and running on an energy source which is as free as sunshine.

After months and months of working with the electronics, welding and fixing inside the garage, you simply can’t get that EV-grin off your face as you are making your first EV-cruise through the streets of the city, explained Doug Rolfe, a member of the Geelong EV group which meets once a month to keep each other up-to-date on the latest developments in the field of electric vehicles.

These are not “vehicles of the future”. These cars are old, and they are driving in the streets of Geelong today. Powered on energy from the sun. Making no noise and no air pollution, and running between 80 to 90 kilometres per recharge.

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Peter Reeves is chairman of the Alternative Technology Association’s Geelong EV Branch

The price of a liter of petrol is not just defined by the market, but also by government regulation. Compared to the average price of gasoline for the world, Australia is relatively cheaper. In Denmark, for instance, a liter of petrol will cost you in the area of two dollars, where in Australia it cost less than $1.50.

Here is an audio clip with Peter Reeves, chairman of the Alternative Technology Association’s Geelong EV Branch, explaining what petrol prices mean for the generation of interest in electric vehicles powered on renewable energy.

» To open or download this audio file in mp3-format, right-click here (Mac: CTRL + click)


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