The electric dream come true

The Sustainable Hour EV Special | Podcast notes for The Sustainable Hour no 403

A full hour about electric vehicles and the ‘zero emissions’ smile. About the new Geelong enterprise Electric Dream Machine, an upcoming EV Show & Shine event, a Electric Vehicle Festival and the launch of our new series: ‘The Sustainable Endpoint’ with carbon and sustainability consultant Heidi Fog.

Our first two guests in the hour are Doug Rolfe and Mark Newell from the new Geelong-based company Electric Dream Machine. The company was formed late last year by the Geelong EV car conversion community which includes Doug and Mark. Their business plan is very must post-carbon thinking: they don’t want just to take people’s money. They spend a lot of time working with their customers on their needs. They know that there will be an abundance of petrol-driven cars that can be relatively easily converted to an electric vehicle as we move away from fossil fuels, and they intend to be there to help people who want to go ‘down this road’ to achieve their EV dream with an old loved model.

Next we have the first of a new series called The Sustainable Endpoint’. This features business carbon emission reduction consultant Heidi Fog. Today Heidi examines the complexity of working out the overall emission reductions involved when calculating them for an EV. It’s not all a positive when embodied energy is taken into account. This is followed by interesting comments from Doug Rolfe.

Then we hear from Geelong Sustainability’s ‘Can Do’er’, Noreen Nicholson who was recently awarded as City of Greater Geelong’s Woman in Community Life for Climate Action. Today Noreen tells us about Geelong Sustainability’s EV 2022 event which is going to be held on 30 April 2022 at the Geelong Show Grounds.

We also hear from Moonie Ponds Sustainability’s Tom Danby who excitedly tells us all about their EV festival which will be held on 23 April 2022. He talks about the impact educational resources they made at last year’s event have made all over the country.

The songs we play excerpts from are the ‘Gasoline Break Up Song’ by Coltura – “ending the love affair with gasoline” and Hopscotch’s ‘Climate Change Song’.

Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook begins in an unusual space: the world of James Bond. News at the weekend came in that Bond’s favoured car, the Aston Martin, is going all-electric. The car company announced a deal with battery manufacturer Britishvolt of plans to launch Aston Martin’s first battery electric vehicle in 2025. The next James Bond movie will feature such a car.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, we zoom over to France, where a new report was published showing that in 2021, worldwide carbon emissions rose to their highest levels ever. This was after the world had rebounded from the Covid pandemic with heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Colin takes us through some worrying stats from this analysis by the Paris-based International Energy Agency.

A possible foil for this comes from a report from the global Energy Transitions Commission. This offers some qualified hope. It describes how the world would have a 50/50 chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C if it adopts what it describes as ‘deep global decarbonisation’. This would entail all sectors of all developed nation’s economies decarbonising by mid-century. This would be alongside all sectors cutting coal use by half and ending 70 per cent of deforestation by 2030, which is roughly in line with promises at COP26. No single carbon-reduction measure would work in significant enough volumes to deliver the emissions removals required, therefore a cross-borders international approach is required.

Back to the United Kingdom where a report showed that the wealthiest households not only emit more carbon emissions than most of the rest of the world combined – but that inequality is growing. Colin proceeds to support this assertion with yet more confronting statistics. Confronting, but telling the truth.

Staying in Britain, Colin then reports of a controversy raging in the media about the conflict between cyclists and motorists on Britain’s roads. This comes from a study showing the UK cannot reach the urgently necessary net zero carbon emissions for UK transport unless they radically reduce the number of cars on its roads, and get more people cycling the 70 per cent of trips that are under five miles.

This took on board the embedded carbon costs involved in manufacturing cars, whether they are EVs or fossil fuelled, the oceans of concrete and tarmac needed to build and repair our roads and the devastating destruction of rainforests to supply the endless demand for billions of new tyres for the world’s vehicle fleet.

The report sparked a tsunami of hateful cyclophobia in the tabloid media, directed against the government’s proposals to get students cycling to school. The proposal to increase the – currently tiny – budget for building protected cycle lanes and separating kids cycling to school from road traffic – currently just 2 per cent of the UK transport budget is spent on cycling, as opposed to the UN-recommend 20 per cent. The UK government announced some minor changes to the Highway Code, governing how drivers, people cycling and pedestrians must behave where they have to share roads – and the media went ballistic. Colin will keep us informed of developments in this space.

Finally, have the wheels have fallen off our Forest Green Rovers, the vegan green football club we’ve been following? The Rovers lost 2 – 0 to Bradford City at the weekend, meaning that they have not won any of their last five matches. (3 draws and 2 losses). Luckily they are still top of the ladder by 8 points. In future shows Colin will no doubt try to get to the bottom of this concerning lapse of form.

The impacts of the recent extreme weather events in both Queensland and New South Wales has woken more people up to the gravity of the situation we face. We hope this Sustainable Hour has given you reason to get actively involved with creating climate solutions and a safer, more just, inclusive and safer world.

Till next week, we sincerely hope that you will continue to explore what will be your role in the climate revolution.


“We don’t care what your dream is, in terms of the dream machine – it can be an electric bike, or there’s one guy we’ve been helping out in New South Wales who is converting a ferry, an ex-Sydney ferry. Big or small, we don’t care – we’d just like to see it on the road, or in the water. Or in the air – we even talked about an electric aircraft at one stage. It’s what is your purpose and what is your need that needs filling.”
~ Doug Rolfe, Electric Dream Machine

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We at The Sustainable Hour would like to pay our respect to the traditional custodians of the land on which we are broadcasting, the Wathaurong People, and pay our respect to their elders, past, present and future.

The traditional owners lived in harmony with the land. They nurtured it and thrived in often harsh conditions for millenia before they were invaded. Their land was then stolen from them – it wasn’t ceeded. It is becoming more and more obvious that, if we are to survive the climate emergency we are facing, we have much to learn from their land management practices.

Our battle for climate justice won’t be won until our First Nations brothers and sisters have their true justice. When we talk about the future, it means extending our respect to those children not yet born, the generations of the future – remembering the old saying that…

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”

The decisions currently being made around Australia to ignore the climate emergency are being made by those who won’t be around by the time the worst effects hit home. How disrespectful and unfair is that?

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Climate Change Response Forum on 24 March in Geelong

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Electric Dream Machine

“We convert your ride to 100% electric, so you can enjoy and appreciate your vehicle for years to come, along with instant torque, low running costs, no oil changes, smells or leaks and minimal servicing! Based in Geelong and Surf Coast region in Australia.”

Electric Dream Machine EV Garage, 914 Hendy Main Rd, Moriac VIC 3240
Enquiries on tel: 0493 244 516
→ Website:

Geelong Sustainability: Show & Shine event

Geelong Sustainability’s 100% Electric Vehicle Project – “accelerating to a clean energy future” –

Talk to experienced EV owners about their driving experience and answer all your questions about range anxiety, charging options and more. There will be a variety of electric vehicle makes and models on show.
Test drives on offer in the MG Electric Vehicle + test rides on Electric Bikes. This will be combined with a Circular Living Show.

Date: Saturday 30 April 2022
Time: 10am to 1pm
Venue: Geelong Showgrounds

→ Book now

→ Read more about Geelong Sustainability’s EV Project

Moonee Valley: Electric Vehicle Festival

Saturday 23 April 2022 at the carpark of the Moonee Valley City Council.

The organisers are expecting 1,500 people to this year’s festival, and are being supported by exhibits from charger and services suppliers, car converters, and possibly some heavy transport exhibits like garbage truck and a commuter bus.

Car Next Door

With the concept of “borrowing your neighbour’s car”, Car Next Door has very quickly grown to the size of over 320,000 members with 930,000 car trips taken, and with over $54 million having been paid to the car owners.

→ Car Next Door in Geelong

Heidi Fog sees it as her mission to help organisations drive down energy and resource consumption. She delivers clear opportunities and solutions on how to reduce avoidable and unavoidable energy and resource consumption and emissions.

→ Home page:

“The LNP warned us that electric vehicles would steal our weekends and now the cost of petrol is doing exactly that!  We need to make electric vehicles affordable and build the necessary infrastructure to support them now!”
Liz Sward

Facts and figures

EVs currently make up two per cent of all new cars sold. In Norway, that figure is 65 per cent.

In the UK, the all-electric Tesla Model 3 was the second best selling car in 2021, driven by the British government’s company car tax benefits for EVs.

Russia is the world’s fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases and sits on some of the world’s largest deposits of oil and gas.

Australia’s fossil fuel producers are making a fortune because of the high prices for their products, including natural gas and coal.

The International Energy Agency recently reported that, if “SUVs were an individual country, they would rank sixth in the world for absolute emissions in 2021, emitting over 900 million tonnes of CO2.”

Why switch to an EV?

If you’re thinking of making the switch to an EV, here’s what to consider:

  • Don’t focus only on the price tag. With petrol prices now pushing past $2 per litre, many Australians will find themselves paying more than $2,000 in fuel each year for every car they own. Electric vehicles can be charged for the equivalent of around $0.20 per litre, or even cheaper when using your home solar. These savings add up, totalling more than $20,000 over the life of the vehicle
  • EVs are cheaper to maintain, and in some cases have no servicing costs. This equates to thousands of dollars potentially saved over the life of the vehicle
  • What about charging? Anywhere you have access to a standard power point you can charge an EV. With cars parked 90 per cent of the time, and mainly driven fewer than 50 kilometres per day, a couple of hours’ charging is more than enough for most. If you want a quicker charge, you can install a wall charger in your garage. And if you park on the street you can use the growing list of public fast chargers across the country or ask your workplace to install a charger.

Continue reading:

→ The New Daily – 16 March 2022:
Thinking of buying an electric vehicle for your next car? Here’s what to consider
“As petrol prices soar and climate change impacts make themselves felt, many people are likely wondering if their next car should be a fully electric vehicle.”

Related media coverage

→ Independent Australia – 14 March 2022:
As fuel prices surge, now is the time to go green
“With fuel prices soaring as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine, there has never been a better time to end our reliance on fossil fuels.”

→ ABC News – 16 March 2022:
Queensland’s electric vehicle subsidy scheme has been announced. Here’s what you need to know
“Queenslanders are being offered a $3,000 subsidy from the state government to buy an electric car. With unleaded petrol prices topping $2.20 a litre, it’s hoped the cash will motivate some Queenslanders to make the switch in a bid to help the state reach its climate change goals.”

→ The Guardian – 16 March 2022:
SA environment minister challenges Morrison government to ‘fast-track’ electric vehicle transition
“David Speirs says he would like to see federal contribution to EV subsidies and calls electric transition a ‘pressing’ need.”

→ Geelong Sustainability – 12 September 2021:
An early adopter’s joy switching to a 100% electric car
“Scott Barnes and his family are on a journey towards a zero emissions lifestyle.  Their next step is potentially a giant step forward for the environment.  And there’s consensus within the family that these new affordable electric vehicles ~ with their wheels firmly planted on the ground of economic and environmental sustainability ~ are pretty much out-of-this-world-cool!”

→ Geelong Sustainability – 1 September 2021:
Driving an electric vehicle is a journey of discovery?
“When you purchase a Battery Electric Vehicle, (BEV), you really do embark on a journey of discovery. For many people, the journey begins long before the purchase.  Our journey began as part of a mission to minimise our impact on the planet, specifically reducing our transport emissions.”  

The Sustainable Hour’s EV reporting in 2013
Just like most Australians, Ewan Kennedy doesn’t
understand that we are in a climate emergency.
So even though he describes in details how much
he loves this new EV, he ends his article with stating:

“Will we replace our turbo-petrol Volvo XC40 with an electric one? No, because we do a lot of long-distance holiday trips and charging would be slow in most places. We will wait until the 800 km battery and five-minute fast chargers arrive and buy one, if the price is right.”
~ Ewan Kennedy, Marque Motoring – in Geelong Independent

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Join the EV revolution

STATE OF GREEN WEEKLY – 26 January 2022:

The plug-in race has only just begun

“As countries push to reach net-zero, electric cars play an important role in reducing transport sector emissions. According to the latest EV Outlook by BloombergNEF, 60 percent of new car sales worldwide must be electric by 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050.

Backed by policy support and a combination of emissions regulations, improvements in battery technology, and new models from automakers, sales are surging. With the soaring demand for electric vehicles being one of last year’s most notable green trends, 2022 is promising to be a breakthrough year.

For the first time in December, European sales of electric cars overtook diesel models. Recently announced data by Financial Times shows that one fifth of new cars sold across 18 European markets were powered exclusively by batteries. Similar developments are seen outside of Europe, where China last year saw an electric vehicle sale surge of 154 percent. The Biden Administration also charged its transportation plans by announcing to transition the federal fleet to zero-emission vehicles and a target of 50 percent electric vehicle sales share in the US by 2030. According to BloombergNEF, policy changes in the US will start to increase adoption in 2022 and beyond.

In the race to go electric, Denmark also experiences sustained momentum following a lean period. Over the past three years, the number of registered battery-powered vehicles has more than quadrupled. In December alone, electric or plug-in hybrids counted for 58 percent of Denmark’s total car sales. The new record was backed by a 68 percent increase in publicly available charging points from 2020 to 2021.

While the global growth offers encouragement, many countries are yet to gear up for the rapid introduction of new fleets. Global infrastructure lacks behind, and the gap in ratio of electric cars to charging points continues to widen. Charging points being one, grid reinforcement another. The hardest bit is the powering up.

To meet the challenge, the EU has set a target to install electric charging points every 60 kilometres and hydrogen refuelling stations every 150 kilometres along its main highways. Likewise, Denmark aims to have one million low or zero-emission cars on the road by 2030 with no one having to que more than 10 minutes at chargers.

While 2022 may go down as the year the floodgates opened for electrified vehicles, the plug-in race has only just begun. Infrastructure is likely to determine if the electric wave continues its charge or if consumers, cars and charging points are running out of juice.”

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The New Daily: the new normal…

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Hopscotch: Climate Change Song

“A song that helps kids understand global warming and what we all need to do about it today.”

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Events we have talked about in The Sustainable Hour

Events in Victoria

The following is a collation of Victorian climate change events, activities, seminars, exhibitions, meetings and protests. Most are free, many ask for RSVP (which lets the organising group know how many to expect), some ask for donations to cover expenses, and a few require registration and fees. This calendar is provided as a free service by volunteers of the Victorian Climate Action Network. Information is as accurate as possible, but changes may occur.



List of running petitions where we encourage you to add your name

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The Sustainable Hour is streamed live on the Internet and broadcasted on FM airwaves in the Geelong region every Wednesday from 11am to 12pm (Melbourne time).

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