By Branko Miletic
The New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for the Environment & Climate Change, Carmel Tebbutt, has announced that the State Government will trial electric cars for its future fleet needs.
“Electric vehicles could offer a viable alternative to conventionally-fuelled cars for everyday transport, especially around the inner-city and we’re keen to evaluate their potential”, Tebbutt said.
“The NSW Government’s fleet has about 26,000 vehicles, so there is potential for electric vehicles to make massive savings in carbon emissions.”
Known as the iMiEV – or Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle, it is a fully electric four-door car that comes equipped with ABS braking, driver and passenger airbags and power windows. It has a top speed of 130 km/h, a range of 160 km, and can be fully charged through a household power point in seven hours.
The iMiEV is one of the first mass-produced electric vehicles in the world to attain full certification from the Australian Department of Transport.
Mitsubishi is planning to put the vehicle on the market in Japan later this year, then in Europe, the US and New Zealand in 2010.
Tebbutt said the State Government was “committed to looking at a whole range of technologies to reduce the impact of climate change, electric cars may be one way that we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, have cleaner air, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”
“Green and hybrid technology vehicles have more than doubled in number in the StateFleet to 370 since 2005 and more efficient small and medium cars now make up the majority of cars in the fleet,” she said.
And according to a Department for Environment and Climate Change spokesperson the switch to electric has been a long time coming.
“There has been a plan for some time in the NSW Government to get rid of V8 and V6 vehicles, with alternatives such as hybrids and smaller engine petrol cars for government fleet purposes,” the spokesperson said.
“A number of measures have already been adopted, including the Cleaner NSW Government Fleet Initiative in 2004, which have made a 20 per cent improvement in environmental performance across the fleet.”
“Green and hybrid technology vehicles have more than doubled in number in the StateFleet to 370 since 2005 and more efficient small and medium cars now make up the majority of cars in the fleet.”
- The fuel tank has been replaced with a 330 V lithium ion battery pack that pushes out 16-kilowatt/hour
- The car runs on a 47-kilowatt motor producing 180 Nm of torque
- Maximum speed is claimed to be130 kph, with a range of roughly 160 kms on the Japanese test
- Has a wheelbase of 2550 mm
- Compared to a similar sized petrol car, the running costs per kilometre are around 33% lower
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