Electric vehicles ‘will happen’, says Ergon Energy, in deal with Mitsubishi

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Ergon Energy in deal with Mitsubishi to use hybrid electric vehicles in its corporate fleet, says wider adoption of EVs ‘will happen’.

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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.

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“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.

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8 Comments
  1. trackdaze 4 years ago

    Mitsubishi is selling as many of the phev outlanders as battery production capacity is allowing. Watch for the fruits of the bosch mitsubishi joint venture that recently acquired a solid state battery startup in the us. Next pajero/montero is looking to be the first ground up offroader to dispense with traditional 4wd driveline and move to twin electric motors.

    Projections on phev uptake are wildely underestimating what the new car market will look like in 2-5 years.

  2. Beat Odermatt 4 years ago

    Yes, we must re-invent the car again. Why should we burn resources needed by future generations to power a heavy steel box into overcrowded cities? We can and must do better.

    • john 4 years ago

      Queensland does not exactly have much public transport.
      So getting rid of ICE vehicles and at least going to PHEV perhaps is a small step.
      The first car was an electric car with lead batteries.
      I do not think any re-inventing is happening actually.
      Just a better technology.
      Ultimately 90% plus efficiency will beat 50% plus efficiency.
      I fully expect in a few years a battery pack that will have a capability to deliver 1000 km’s of power for a vehicle, then this whole situation totally changes.

      • Beat Odermatt 4 years ago

        We may see companies like Google or Tesla developing brand new concepts for cars. I agree that it may take a while to develop a car which can drive from Cairns to Perth on electricity, but most of our trips are of short distances in crowded cities. I noticed in Norway that electric cars park for free. Why not in Australia?

        • john 4 years ago

          As you are aware there is a lot of development going on to do with battery technology especially in the Nano area.
          The expected outcome is at least a doubling in the short term and more as the findings come to commercialising the research.
          As to a commute vehicle any electric vehicle will look after the 80 Km average distance now.
          Expect shopping centres to offer free charge to attract customers to their facility.

  3. Rockne O'Bannon 4 years ago

    I drive an Outlander often. They are nice cars. Not only is it a SUV, it is 4WD and it gets great mileage. I would expect that it will get something like 60 km on battery alone, and it has a range of about 600 km with fuel.

    It is a pretty decent plug in. The battery is about 10 kWh, so it recharges pretty quickly, and it is not so heavy that it slows things down. It is great in snow.

    Regarding fast charging. Yeah. You can charge it up in 20 minutes if you want, but it is a plug in hybrid, so you can charge from the ICE while you drive, or use the ICE for difficult terrain and save the battery, etc. There are all kinds of options and no range anxiety.

  4. Ian 4 years ago

    It’s heartening to see Ergon consider electric vehicles. Actually it is in the best interests of the networks and utilities to wholeheartedly support and lobby for electric vehicles. Tesla’s model S uses roughly 20KWH per 100Km, that’s about the quantity of electrical energy used by the average home. Of course over time people will build out solar for their vehicles but widespread adoption of electric cars could buy the coal generators a little time. A little olive branch from consumers to allow the coal generators to wind down slowly. Besides, electric vehicles, if used mostly for commuting, will hardly ever be located at people’s homes during the day. Networks like Ergon are uniquely placed to ‘transmit’ energy from the solar rooftop to the workplace car park.

  5. Coley 4 years ago

    8 EVs eh? Wow

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