[clug] Canberra electric vehicles group - first contact

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Sat Feb 6 18:10:10 MST 2010

Paul Wayper wrote on 2/02/10 12:29 AM:
> Hi all!
> Tonight I went along to a group at once new and very familiar.  They all were
> passionately keen about a new technology, and yet they'd all had to explain
> the benefits over and over again to disbelievers. <snip>
> This was, of course, electric vehicle hobbyists.
> For my part, I'm keen on constructing an electric motorbike.

> Have fun,
> Paul

Some links/observations I hope people on the list find helpful:

Amory B. Lovins and the Rocky Mountain Institute have been working on
Public-Domain super-efficient car designs since ~1992. A good leg up,
and someone to hit on for help/ideas. Lovins has written quite a few

Case study [not read it]:

In 2009, they spun out "Bright Automotive" who are building a 100mpg
delivery van.
<http://www.brightautomotive.com/> [cute video there]

There are two massive 'gotchas' in building anything "road legal":
 - Australian Design Rule (ADR) compliance,
 - cost of building prototypes is proportional to size of vehicle

=> Embrace the classic Open-Source 'stealth mode' model and avoid these
[For example, 'gophers'/mobility scooters can do 10 kph on footpaths. No
license or rego. BUT only alllowed on roads if no footpath. Single seat,
110kg limit, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah]

Rules vary between States. NSW & ACT differ... Don't have good links :-(


I recall some tabloid TV show reported in 2008/9 about a guy trying to
import (from Europe?) a nifty 3-wheel electric thingy. It was stuck in
Customs because in Oz it's classified as a car and needed ADR compliance...

This might be a useful tack:
Canberra has appalling public transport - more people walk or cycle.
The root-cause is population density - too little demand, no bus
services, people are forced into alternatives.

Neighbourhood Electric Vehicles (NEV's) could address part of the
problem - in peak hour, most cars are single-occupant.
If I could get myself to a bus terminus in 10-15mins, then straight onto
an express bus, it might be cheaper than driving/parking.
[Developing NEV's or mopeds/motorised bicycles is financially possible
for many.]

The major benefit to the ACT Govt is saving in road construction. Buses
replace many cars and avoid expensive upgrades - like the GDE 2nd lane.
Users could pay for a NEV, but the Govt. bulk buy them and maintain.

The ACT Greens should be leading the charge here...

Anyone a member or got a friend there???

Some laws to allow "Experimental" vehicles on the road for a limited
time (like Aviation) would open things up a lot for an EV group.

Hope this is useful...


Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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