Grey nomads make regular pilgrimages to Inverell to fossick for sapphires, but in May electric vehicle aficionados will descend on this northern town for a combined electric car rally and a renewable energy display. This is more than just a small town looking for the tourist dollar, this is the ever widening realisation that electric transport is the way of the future. This is a chance to show that range anxiety is being overcome by the increasing availability of charging stations, by the hybrid vehicles such as the Prius and by the ever growing range of electric vehicles equipped with batteries that allow defined distances to be travelled with ease.
Think back to the advent of the ICE powered vehicle. Early cars were laden with four-gallon drums of petrol to ensure that the distance between sparse petrol bowsers could be travelled with confidence. Electric cars are at that juncture. Leading the charge are once again the NRMA and the ACT government. In 1920, the founders of NRMA lobbied for improvements to Parramatta Road in Sydney and now the NRMA is expanding the availability of charging stations for electric vehicles by building about 40 stations in NSW and the ACT.
A few years ago, the ACT government made the ground breaking commitment to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy by 2020 and this week mandated that all newly leased government vehicles be zero emissions from 2021. A first step in joining the wave of governments moving to electric transport. Holland, Norway, France, UK have already moved to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles and China is following. Similarly carmakers are moving to electrics – Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Volkswagen, Daimler, BMW, General Motors and Ford – in hot pursuit of Tesla and the suite of China EVs. A paradigm shift is underway.