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.
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.
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)
Victoria’s greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, and the biggest contributor is cars, according to Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, professor Kate Auty.
Professor Auty suggests an independent panel should be convened to consider ways of discouraging car usage through congestion taxes, for example, or by deploying more buses.
No one yet has dared to mention the unspeakable: to put a tax on petrol which could then be directly allocated to make the purchase of an electric car or car-battery cheaper, or to construct new charging facilities in parking squares.
» Editorial in The Age – 2 December 2013: theage.com.au
The world’s seven greenest vehicles according to Lindsay Wilson, Renew Economy, on 6 December 2013.
» Continue reading: reneweconomy.com.au
Clean fuels standards
Fossil fuel companies are running up against a difficult opponent: Reality. Clean fuels standards have been in place for a number of years in California and British Columbia and the data show that as these policies move forward they working, at much lower costs than predicted.
A new review of the Californian clean fuels standard conducted by NW New Energy found that the policy is working as intended: the economy is up, carbon emissions are down, and costs are hard to detect.
» Continue reading:
Climate Solutions – 6 December 2013:
A Clean Fuels Standard works
Every time a state responds to public support and proposes a new initiative to create jobs while also providing cleaner air and healthier communities, polluters say it will harm the economy. And each time, the doomsday predictions are just flat out wrong. Article by Ben Serrurier
Batteries for electric cars
IMB is developing new lithium-air batteries for electric cars that can increase range to 800 kilometres and could be on the streets by 2020. The battery uses oxygen from the air to react with lithium ions and generate electricity.
» Read more: www.gizmag.com
This is how emission-free electric vehicles from Mercedes-Benz are marketed at the moment.