Jun 2, 2010

Towards our motoring future: electric vehicle hits the road

Towards our motoring future: electric vehicle hits the road

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

June 02 2010

The first mass-produced fully-electric car, Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV, has hit the Australian road following an official launch at Parliament House in Canberra.

Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong today joined Mitsubishi President Osamu Masuko to mark the milestone and take one of these new, revolutionary vehicles for a test drive.

Mr Albanese said the first 40 cars available in Australia will be offered to governments, the media and fleet buyers as a way of encouraging the trialling and uptake of these alternative power vehicles.

"Wherever possible governments should lead by example and that’s why I’m very pleased to announce that the Federal Government will be acquiring and trialling a number of these new vehicles within its own fleet," said Mr Albanese.

"I congratulate Mitsubishi on the investment they’re making in the cutting edge technology which over time will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality within our cities," said Mr Albanese.

"The i-MiEV’s represents a revolution in car design, bringing us a major step closer to ’emissions free’ driving. Its 47kW motor uses no petrol and produces no emissions while on the road.

"More broadly, I’m encouraged by the innovation currently taking place within the automotive industry both here and overseas as manufacturers strive to develop greener and more fuel efficient vehicles in response to changing community expectations."

The Rudd Labor Government will continue working with the states and territories as well as industry and road user groups to evaluate the potential for widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Australia.

Senator Wong said the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency would participate in a trial of the i-MiEV electric vehicle, to further boost its fleet of green vehicles.

"We know the transport sector is a significant emitter, with emissions of about 79 million tonnes a year – or 15 per cent of national emissions – in 2009," Senator Wong said.

"The efforts of Australians to reduce their carbon footprint on the road, by driving fuel efficient vehicles or taking public transport, do make a difference."