Climate change/renewable energy think tank Beyond Zero Emissions chose the University of Queensland to launch their Electric Vehicle Report, which lays out how Australia can change most cars and all buses to being electric over the next 10 years. Although this sounds ambitious, the report is based on solid research and looks at what would be required to make this happen, such as changes in government policy and roll-outs of fast charging. The plan can be found here: report
Adam and I drove the Nissan Leaf down from the Sunshine Coast. With no more than 100 km in range, we needed to use the solar-powered fast charger at the University of Queensland so that we could get home again. Of course, fast chargers can be a great place to meet other EV drivers. First, we met new BMW i3 Rex driver Lena who was giving her car a top-up. Then we met Rob with his matching blue Leaf, which he has been driving for four years. Next, along came Sally, who had driven her red Tesla Model S from Sydney, the first woman I’ve met with a Model S. So we had a lovely chat, and Sally took Rob for a quick spin around the Uni in the Model S.
After 35 minutes of charging, and getting a bit lost on the enormous campus, we reached the UQ building and saw about ten electric cars on display, and bumped into a few people we knew. With 300 people at the launch, and some interesting speakers, the atmosphere was electric 🙂
Qld Energy Minister Mark Bailey spoke about the Queensland Government’s plans, such as the use of reverse auctions to encourage the building of large-scale solar and wind farms, an idea successfully pioneered by the ACT government. Greens Senator Larissa Waters also spoke, mentioning how the cost of moving towards 100% renewable energy would be much more affordable if the current $6 billion pa subsidy to fossil fuels in Australia was redirected. There was also a panel discussion, and BZE CEO Stephen Bygraves spoke about the report, mentioning that Norway and The Netherlands plan to shift to having 100% electric cars by 2025.
We then socialised a bit, and got to quickly meet Senator Waters, who always speaks with great optimism and wisdom. Then it was off home, arriving just as we got down to one bar on the battery. Phew!