Locally designed electric car for Mayor

Locally designed electric car for Mayor

In 2007, as part of a commitment to reducing emissions from Council’s car fleet, the Mayor’s car was changed from a large six cylinder petrol vehicle to a smaller four cylinder diesel car.

A petrol electric hybrid was considered, but at that time the cost differential was considerable.

Last year, the electric car became part of the fleet as a result of the ingenuity of local business Blade Electrics. The Blade Electric Vehicle (BEV) is not a hybrid, but an all electric car.

Ross Blade takes standard petrol cars, usually a Hyundai Getz, and sets to work on them in his Castlemaine workshop. He replaces the petrol motors and fuel tanks with an electric motor and battery system, and makes other modifications, and the car rolls out looking like the petrol original, apart from the gear stick.

The cars drive slightly differently, but are eerily quiet and can be charged from a standard 240 volt power point. They operate as an emission free vehicle if charged using renewable electricity.

The car’s main drawbacks at this stage are a short range (approximately 80 kilometres) before recharging is required, and the high cost of the conversion. The limited range means it is best suited as an urban car, where trips are shorter and more engine braking helps to recharge the batteries.

As the Mayor’s car, this means it is suitable for 95 per cent of the driving required.

Ross Blade brought his business to this Shire due to the unique local combination of automotive re-engineering skills (many hotrod specialists call the region home) and community passion for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

He is planning to expand his production volumes and increase his workforce.

For further information contact Ross Blade on (03) 5472 2009 or email ross.blade@bev.com.au