Australian electric vehicles for export

Australian Clean Energy Electric Vehicle Group  has signed a deal to begin assembling carbon fibre composite and plastic electric vans at the Aldom manufacturing plant in Wingfield, north of Adelaide’s CBD, this year, The Lead portal reports.

ACE-EV managing director Greg McGarvie said he was determined to bring the electric vehicle industry to Australia for the sake of his grandchildren’s future. He noted the company had orders for 100 electric delivery vans to be assembled at the plant, and hoped to scale up to 15,000 electric vehicles by 2025. ACE-EV would employ between 10 and 18 people in its first year and use about 3000 square meters of Aldom Motor Body Builders’ 12,000 sqm Wingfield site, where Aldom currently designs and manufactures custom commercial vehicles.

“This state will be the first in Australia that will be manufacturing electric vehicles,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for four years. It’s the right thing to be doing for my grandkids.”

McGarvie stressed the vehicles would mainly sell on the export market and aim to use local suppliers, but that it had partnerships with companies in Germany and Taiwan and noted the South Australian Government had been the most “proactive” in seeking to attract his company to the state – but that politicians generally have been “gun-shy” to publicly support electric vehicles. The South Australian Marshall Government had helped his company by setting up important business contacts, and was offering more “help” – but McGarvie declined to say what other assistance was on the table. “It’s very encouraging what they’re offering to do to help,” he said.

He also pointed out he was not actively seeking investment from government, but rather, “electric-vehicle friendly” policy from lawmakers.

“We don’t need money, we just need policy support,” said McGarvie. “If the government is serious about reducing the carbon footprint it needs to encourage people to drive vehicles that have a low carbon footprint. Simple things can be done – you don’t have to be Einstein.”

Electric vehicles could be fitted with green number plates and given priority road access – such as being able to use bus lanes, or exclusively electric vehicle lanes. According to McGarvie, the cars can be charged overnight using a normal household power point and that they had been crash tested to European standards. The vehicles had to still be approved in Australia but that a prototype had been tested here and he was “very confident” authorities would sign off on the vehicles.

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union SA assistant secretary Scott Bachelor said his union welcomed “any new entrant seeking to restart the car industry, create jobs and utilize the skills and experience of South Australian vehicle builders. Electric vehicles are fast becoming the technology of the future and South Australian workers are ready for the challenge.”

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