Cairns trials electric car

Cairns Regional Council jumped at the opportunity to trial a fully electric vehicle for a couple of weeks as part of its vehicle fleet. 

The trial of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV not only aligned with Cairns Regional Council’s carbon emissions reduction policy but also represented a reduction in operating costs. Mitsubishi chose Cairns for the trial based on the high level of interest in electric vehicle technology amongst the region’s residents when compared to other Australian regional areas.

The i-MiEV, which runs entirely on electricity, was supplied by Ireland’s Mitsubishi on a trial basis, with a view to further use by Council in the future.

“The trial proved very successful,” Mayor Bob Manning said. “Council staff have been using the car for work travel and the feedback has been very positive in relation to driveability, power and comfort.”

The i-MiEV has a 16kWh battery and, on an average tariff of 25c/kWh, would cost around $4 per 100km – a third of the cost of most petrol-powered small cars. A fully charged battery lasts up to 150km, and an electrical outlet was installed in one of Council’s car parks to provide the charge.

Councillor Manning commented that, “There is no fuel consumption at all – it’s cleaner and much less expensive to operate. Even when charged from the electricity grid, the emissions generated are far less than a conventional petrol-powered vehicle.”

Council staff were excited to experience the new technology first hand and thought the car would be a great addition to Council’s fleet. In addition to the ease of driving, power and efficiency, there was the added benefit of never having to fill up with fuel.

Cr Manning said that the recent release of the 2011/12 State of the Environment report and the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory highlighted Council’s commitment to leading the way in resource efficiency.

“It is up to Council to show leadership and the results speak for themselves,” Cr Manning said. “Significant steps have been taken to reduce Council’s environmental impact and there are more to come.

“We would like to express our thanks to Ireland’s Mitsubishi for supplying this car and providing Council with the opportunity to trial this new technology.