An all-electric delivery van, assembled entirely by a local team of engineers and technicians has officially been launched in Australia.
The 3.9 metre-long Cargo vanette, as it is known, is the first prototype in a series of vehicles planned by Australian Clean Energy Electric Vehicle (ACE-EV) Group to be manufactured along with the ACE Urban, a city car, and the ACE Yewt, a utility.
The Cargo can carry up to half a tonne in weight and has the potential to lower greenhouse emission by 70% and running costs by 85%, according to the company. The design of the vehicle is aimed at fleet owners with a price tag of $39,995.
It has a 33kWh battery with capabilities of up to 250km on a single charge with a partial payload, along with maximum power output of 45kW from the motor. At the core of the vehicle's design is lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic monocoque.
But, what sets this fledgling electric car manufacturer and its engineering team apart from other electric car makers is the ability to easily and cheaply customise its vehicles, with an order of just 200 being financially possible.
Maryborough-based ACE-EV plans to assemble 100 of the vans for its first manufacturing run this year. If there is enough interest this will be ramped up to 600 in 2020 and 3000 the year after, the company said. And while the accolades are already starting to come in, with an Innovation Award from Queensland's Motor Trades Association, this plan comes with a caveat - that if Australian fleet buyers don't get on board, production may go overseas.
Currently, the only all-electric vehicles available in Australia are from international manufacturers, Tesla, BMW, Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Jaguar, and Hyundai. The Electric Vehicle Council said Australia lags behind the rest of the world in their uptake. As of December last year, New Zealand had four thousand more electric vehicles on its roads than Australia.