First commercial electric car in Canberra!

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Wollemi Systems recently registered the first commercially produced electric car in the ACT. We caught up with them, now that they have had a few weeks of driving an EV – they’re still smiling! So it seems that the first consumer electric cars are finally available in Canberra!

Blade Electron

It’s not a new idea to drive an electric car. Electric Vehicle (EV) enthusiasts have been converting normal cars for some time now – and Canberra is fortunate to have a very active EV conversion community – the Canberra Electric Vehicle Association. They are a branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association.

It IS a new idea however to be able to go down to the shop and buy one;  for that matter, to be able to lease it, and insure it the same way you do any car.  That is exactly what Wollemi Systems have done.  A standard commercial lease for a normal looking car – only difference is that this one doesn’t have an exhaust pipe!

“We got a few blank looks along the way, but once we found the right companies, things went reasonably smoothly” – they’ve managed to navigate their way through all of the ‘normal car’ systems, and are now looking to share what they’ve learned through a dedicated website – – “we really want to share our experiences with the Canberra community, and encourage other local Canberra businesses to do the same” said Mr Lowe, who is co-founder of their sustainability focussed IT company (and co-founder of the not-for-profit climateXchange) .

The car, along with the Mitsubishi iMiev and Tesla, will be giving the public a taste at the upcoming Canberra Electric Vehicle Festival – on the 18th of September

When Wollemi Systems decided to purchase new vehicles, an electric car was a natural choice for them. Combined with a 100% green power subscription, it is a great zero emissions personal transport solution. “It was surprising to discover how few of the major car companies actually had an electric car they could sell us today. It turns out that even with a cheque book in your hand, none of the major manufacturers can deliver you a reasonably priced car. We certainly didn’t expect to be one of the first on the road though!”

Excitingly, it turns out that Wollemi discovered an Australian company – Blade Electric Vehicle – who have been developing the Blade Electron over the last 5 years, it is a fully Australian Compliance and crash tested vehicle (since late 2009),.  It is a normal 5 door hatchback, which Haydn claims looks so normal that they’ve needed to paint it to attract more attention to the fact it’s electric!

So what is it like you ask?

Not that different, but totally different! – you can go and see it at the festival on the 18th!

“Very quiet at the traffic lights”, as nothing runs in an electric car when you’re stationary. It is a short range vehicle, and can travel up to 100km on a single charge, and apparently “keeps up with all of the other traffic just  like a normal car!”

“It’s a perfect second car for us” claims Mr Lowe, “if you have a two car family then  having one which is electric works really well.  We use the electron for all of our city driving, and then for longer trips we take the other car…  …I actually had to take our other car to the petrol station on Monday, and it reminded me how nice it is just to be able to re-fuel at home!”

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