The key role electric vehicles could play in the distributed power grids of the future has been acknowledged by Queensland’s state Labor government and its major network operator, with the announcement of a new partnership between state-owned Ergon Energy and car maker Mitsubishi, to bring eight EVs into the distributor’s passenger fleet this year.
“Investing in electric vehicles is in the long-term interests of Queensland, so it is gratifying to see partnerships like this driving investment,” said state energy minister, Mark Bailey.
The deal will see eight Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid EVs (PHEVs) integrated into the Ergon Energy fleet, based in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay, Maryborough and Toowoomba.
Mitsubishi Motors Australia CEO Mutsuhiro Oshikiri said the Outlander – the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV – was well suited to Queensland’s “robust environment.”
In July, Ergon Energy announced its retail business was working with government and industry to help create an electric vehicle highway with Australia’s first solar-powered fast-charging station for EVs to be established in Townsville.
Ergon Energy is also finalising a lease offer to employees that could see up to a further 100 EVs taken on for private use later in the year.
Ergon Energy chief executive Ian McLeod said the agreement underscored Ergon’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and embrace emerging technologies.
“Ergon Energy, as a forward thinking electricity distributor believes that wider adoption of EVs will happen,” McLeod said.