Australian made electric vehicles to begin production in July

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Melbourne-based electric vehicle maker plans to begin rolling out 100% Australia-made EVs in July, after securing production facility in Victoria.

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Editor: This article has been updated to reflect that AVASS will not be the first Australian company to manufacture locally made electric vehicles. Queensland company Bustech (part of Transit Australia Group) launched Australia’s first electric bus in 2015, which was designed, engineered and manufactured at its plant in Burleigh Heads.

A Melbourne-based electric vehicle maker has revealed plans to become one of Australia’s first manufacturers of 100 per cent locally made EVs, after securing a production facility in Avalon, Victoria.

The company, a privately-owned family business called AVASS, is being headed up by Allen Salyav – the former CEO of electric bus maker Brighsun – and will manufacture electric vehicles under the AVA brand including all-electric buses, cars, vans, motorcycles and trucks.

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All of the vehicles made in the Avalon factory will use the company’s own self-charging battery technology, removing the need for charging infrastructure.

“With AVA we intend on manufacturing in Australia and globally in the respective regions,” Saylav said in a statement on Thursday. “We believe AVA will become a worldwide household name when it comes to electric vehicle manufacturing.”

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Outside of Australia, the company has production facilities in Turkey, where Saylav says it is making vans already, and in China, where it is currently turning out buses. It also has distribution centres in Europe, South America and the Middle East, as well as a battery-making facility in China.

In an interview with RenewEconomy, Saylav said the company ultimately plans make its batteries in Australia, too, once the China plant has been successfully proven.

In Australia, where the Avalon factory has seven production lines, Saylav says the company is in the prototyping and design process, and expects to have products ready for demonstration by around July.788638-20160331_084010.w1024

The focus, initially, will be on the production of the company’s generation 3 buses – the Matilda for City (a public transport solution) and the AVASS touring bus – both of which, as mentioned above, have built-in charging systems, so won’t have to use charging stations.

Saylav said that the company had already generated strong interest from the international market, as well as from within Australia, where it had secured government and private entity interest.

“We’ve got some vehicles we’re preparing for a government order now,” he said, specifying only that it was a government from one of Australia’s capital cities.

Saylav said that the technology used not only reduced the need for charging infrastructure, but made the vehicles “much safer” to operate.

In a bus, for example, each battery box would have its own smaller charging unit installed next to it, which would be networked into the back of the bus.

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Sayalv said AVASS the first of its vehicles were expected to roll of the production line in Avalon in July this year, by which time the company needed to deliver quite a few vehicles.

“We have a 10 production-line battery plant in China, and they will be able to deliver by the end of April,” he said. “Once we test that plant from 12-24 months — will be making batteries in Australia.”

Saylav says the company, which has been established for some six years now – has done “exhaustive” testing on its lithium-ion battery technology.

“We have one vehicle that has had the same battery pack for 10 years, and has done well over 650,000km,” he told RE. “I took it for a six-hour drive just the other day.”

Sophie Vorrath

Sophie is editor of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and deputy editor of its sister site, RenewEconomy.com.au. Sophie has been writing about clean energy for more than a decade.

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30 Comments
  1. Craig Allen 3 years ago

    Could this be the answer to my electric camper van fantasies?

    • Ian 3 years ago

      Exactly the same fantasy as mine! Happy to discuss sometime.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      that would be the all electric soon to be released VW combi van, no?

  2. Alex 3 years ago

    I remember the Brighsun bus heralded with much fanfare, but it looked more like a press release than an actual product, which rose and disappeared without trace. I am very curious to know how much of this company actually exists beyond a paper trail. I would love to see Australia produce electric vehicles, but pardon my skepticism.

    • Angus 3 years ago

      The top photo in this article is the same bus from the Brighsun article.

    • Sophie Vorrath 3 years ago

      Alex, from what I could gather AVASS is a completely separate company – only connection is Saylav, who left Brighsun to focus completely on his own venture. Certainly, some skepticism is always warranted – we will see what July brings. But it is good to see local outfits having a crack.

  3. Michael 3 years ago

    what is a built in charging system?

    • Stan Hlegeris 3 years ago

      Tesla offers one example. Each Tesla is equipped with a built-in charger which enables it to take AC power and charge its storage batteries (with DC).

      Tesla’s roadside superchargers provide high-amperage DC directly to the batteries, bypassing the onboard chargers and enabling a much faster charge.

      The trouble is that all of the words used to describe charging are used carelessly and interchangeably so we never know what anyone is talking about.

  4. Brendan Lee 3 years ago

    “All of the vehicles made in the Avalon factory will use the company’s own self-charging battery technology, removing the need for charging infrastructure.”

    Sounds odd to me… They will still need to be connected to a high power grid connection whether the charger is onboard or not, and frankly having the charger onboard would add a lot to both the weight and cost of each bus. Would it not be better to have a single high power DC charger to service multiple buses rather than a charger for every bus?
    Or did I misunderstand? The way it’s written it sounds like a free energy project…

    • JeffJL 3 years ago

      Looks like a range extender to me. Or even like the mining trucks. An inbuilt generator. Seems suspiciously like a FF fueled vehicle to me.

      • Brendan Lee 3 years ago

        Hmmmm. Why’s it being described as a battery powered vehicle then? Shouldn’t the label be Hybrid?

        • JeffJL 3 years ago

          “…have built-in charging systems, so won’t have to use charging stations.”

          Yes, I think your BS meter is accurate.

          Hybrid has the FF motor drive the car with the battery providing power when needed.

    • Jon 3 years ago

      Maybe they’ve discovered a perpetual motion machine?……

      • Brendan Lee 3 years ago

        It definitely triggered my BS meter.

        • caffdan 3 years ago

          Mine too. I had never heard of this company until now. But the onboard self charging unit is a real problem. I hope it is not an April Fools day joke.

          • Rodney Lloyd 3 years ago

            The workshop of any bus company is huge=roof space for PV. The corner growing weeds=location for battery storage. Mechanics re-programmed to speak DC, and pollution free travel for you and me!

    • JonathanMaddox 3 years ago

      The charger won’t add a lot of weight or cost.

      • Brendan Lee 3 years ago

        How do you figure that? If it’s going to charge what will have to be several 100’s of kWh’s of batteries in anything less than half a day it will need to be substantial, like 100Kw. That will weigh at least 3-500kg and cost a tonne.

        • JonathanMaddox 3 years ago

          I’m sure you’re right if you assume hundreds of kilowatts. I was thinking several hours to charge at a rate of mere tens of kilowatts … so it would weigh at least 30-50kg and cost 100kg 😉

    • Shane Edwards 3 years ago

      I work as a bus driver and even tho we have a small fleet it is much easier to wire each bay with 3phase power than run high amp dc cable from one sorce to multiple outlets at high DC voltage. It keeps it simple and safe for the operator.

  5. Mark Roest 3 years ago

    Sounds like forced, inflated product differentiation…
    I thought hybrid that runs on batteries, with small ICE or microturbine to recharge on the fly, but could be a charger, so that you can simply plug into a dryer outlet at home, or shop power at work.

  6. john 3 years ago

    Seems this is the Brightsun bus link to specifications.
    It does mention Avass in the right column.
    Announcement 27th Feb 2016
    Chairman Kevin Huang announced today that CEO Mr Allen Saylav had completed his work in Brighsun and would be returning to his own company.

    http://brighsunauto.com.au/a/fuwuxiangmu/chenggonganli/20151028/7.html

  7. Rurover 3 years ago

    I think this article is about a week too late!

  8. Jonathan Doig 3 years ago

    Let’s start with the basics. Is his name Sayalv, Saylav, Salyav or Salylav? -_-

    • JonathanMaddox 3 years ago

      It’s Allen Saylav.

  9. Alastair Leith 3 years ago

    what is “a built in charging system”, are we talking perpetual motion system or a diesel hybrid? Filed under mystery meat for now.

  10. David Francis 3 years ago

    It’s probably a Diesel engine recharging the battery. Ventura buses did something similar in 2009. Not 100% electric but not a hybrid drivetrain.

  11. Carl Raymond S 3 years ago

    I don’t think this is a scam, unless it’s a really big one. Minister Greg Hunt was there when they did a test drive from Melbourne to Sydney on a single charge – that should indicate legitimacy.

    Brighsun see the “Made in Australia” tag adding value to these buses. I can’t see Tesla caring about that, as their brand is already gold. We should welcome this consolation prize with both arms, or the EV revolution will be something happening “out there”. Our competitors will be moving people and stuff around with free sunshine, and we’ll still be docking tankers.

  12. Ian 2 years ago

    Did they ever start building these? Was supposed to start being buit last July

  13. Neale Gray 1 year ago

    Milbay Australia have been manufacturing the fantastically reliable “Recharge” All terrain 4WD Electric Utility Vehicle since 2015. check out the website for more information http://www.milbay.com.au

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