By Paul Hemsley
Melbourne’s inner north is set to become a real-life car testing ground for innovative vehicle rental service GoGet Australia which has said it will to use four new Toyota hybrid electric vehicles to determine how well the cars work in the “real word conditions” of the city’s densely populated areas.
The commercial car share provider will run a project called the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) program that has been created in conjunction with a $50,000 investment from the Victorian government through its Electric Vehicle Trial worth $5 million and will work by installing an EV network called “The Hub” at the Moreland City Council offices that will offer three charge stations for the local area.
The Moreland Hub will include one of Victoria’s first publicly available “Fast Charge” stations in the council area, which GoGet claims can charge an electric car in 30 minutes. Normally, EVs need to be plugged into a charger overnight, depending on the capacity of the battery.
Although GoGet already operates its car rental service in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane, the service has claimed that the program is the first of its kind because the hybrid vehicles will feature special data collection equipment that will gather important information about how the vehicles perform alongside their traditional car counterparts in the car share fleet.
Moreland City Council has also been supplied with a Toyota Prius EV through GoGet’s car-sharing scheme to be used by staff and hired out to the public.
According to the council, local residents will be provided with discounts and incentives to join GoGet and use the EV. The council will also take out a business membership to GoGet so council staff can use the car when its available for hire.
Victorian Minister for Public Transport and Roads, Terry Mulder said the Hub is another “milestone” in Victoria’s “evolving” EV charging network and an important step towards the state’s sustainable transport future.
“Moreland City Council is providing the necessary infrastructure to encourage Victorians to use electric vehicles and make it accessible and convenient, which will encourage more people to choose this sustainable transport option,” Mr Mulder said.
Mr Mulder said the project is a “great example” of how the Electric Vehicle Trial is providing the “foundations of an emerging marketplace for EVs in Victoria and Australia”.
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