Activities during 2023-4

CIT workshop tours

Two groups of AEVA ACT members were fortunate enough to tour the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) electric vehicle workshops and see what the CIT is doing to train the automotive workforce to maintain and work with electric vehicles.

CIT EV classroom

From its inception in 2021 it now has 50 students across all stages of the four-year apprenticeship with the first Australia qualified apprentices in Electric Vehicle technology graduating in 2024.

CIT EV lab

Shannons Wheels 2024

AEVA ACT were again in full force at this 43rd occasion of 'Wheels', the ACT Region's autumn Show & Shine vehicle display, for all enthusiasts of Australia's motoring.  Our enthusiastic members in their bright yellow “Zero emissions GO electric” vests were kept busy answering EV questions from an owners perspective.  Our AEVA display of a wide variety of EVs (including motorbike) was very popular, even attracting a converted VW away from the VW display area.

Shannons Wheels 2024


ACT hits 2% registered EVs

An impromptu group of AEVA ACT members gathered at the National Arboretum to celebrate electfic vehicle uptake in Canberra reaching 2% of all ACT registered light vehicles.

 2 percent ACT EVs photo

Graph 2 percent ACT EVs

Around Australia towing a caravan

John Smith rallied together some EV enthusiasts to greet Shane and Sarah while they were in Canberra on their trip around Australia towing a caravan. 

Those gathering for a lunch and chat with Shane and Sarah included; John Smith (co-ordinator), Warwick Cathro (AEVA National Secretary), Ross Heatherington (TOCA VP) and Darryl Bourke (AEVA ACT Secretary).

Shane and Sarah Lunch at NPG

A good article about Shane and Sarah is in The Driven

Shane and Sarah outside NPG

You can follow them on Facebook.



EV Experience Day on International Day of People with Disability

This EV experience day at the Mawson Park and Ride car park had a focus on the requirements of people with disability such as modified vehicles, accessible charging and acoustic warnings for pedestrians. It was a really successful day that was drawn to a close 20 minutes early due to thunderstorms! Thanks to all of the AEVA members who attended.

EV Experience Day on International Day of People with Disability


November 2023 meeting presentation was from Gridserve UK by CEO Toddington Harper

Gridserve is a major EV charging provider in the UK – it is probably best known for its electric forecourts which are similar in size, appearance and function to existing motorway service centres catering to ICE vehicles.

Gridserve electric forecourt


Toddington gave a broad description of the activities Gridserve is involved in, and went into some detail about the philosophies underlying the company.  It is very focussed on combating climate change through the use of sustainable energy and promotes ‘A Sun‑to‑Wheel’ ecosystem.  The system is based on the development of large solar farms + battery installations.  The company has been net zero since its inception.  Gridserve has also set up a leasing arm to promote the uptake of EVs.

In addition to the electric forecourts, Gridserve has established ‘Electric Super Hubs’, essentially large banks of chargers, at Motorway Service Centres across the UK.

Gridserve is also involved in the electrification of freight transport and is trialling fast charging of heavy goods vehicles.

Toddington concluded his excellent presentation by emphasising the climate change imperatives underpinning his business.

NRMA Drive Day

On a windy Saturday 11th November the NRMA ran an electric vehicle (EV) drive day for Canberra and region. The event was supported by NSW and ACT Governments.

The day gave many people a chance to drive and learn about EVs, with experts there to help you along your journey.

AEVA ACT was in attendance with our marquee and several EVs on display.

NRMA drive day ACT

Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association

On the 8th November the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association (Norsk Elbilforening) participated in a public forum on the electric vehicle revolution underway in Norway.

They told the story of how they handled the move to EVs with the electrication of Norway. Consumer uptake was mostly based on economics with clean air and the environment a great side effect. Government policy had a major impact on the speed of EV adoption.

Without good Government policies the transition would have been very slow or non existent. The Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association played an important role representing the EV owners into government.

Public Forum

The speakers were:
Mr Erik Svedahl, Deputy Head of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Canberra.
Helene Busengdal, Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
Markus Nilsen Rotevatn, Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association.
Chaired by Ben Elliston (AEVA-ACT)


Sustainable Canberra Expo 2023

Sustainable Canberra Expo

AEVA-ACT was a standout partner at the ACT Governments Sustainable Canberra Expo on 13th & 14th October.  A great variety of member owned EVs were on display with the owners eager to talk about their EV and offer a ride in them.  The expo included EV displays from some car companies, importers, TOCA, and the ACT Governments growing fleet of EV vehicles including a fire truck, lawn mowers, excavators and tip-truck.  

CSE23 rides

AEVA-ACT also had an inside stall promoting membership and advising people about the AEVA outside display and rides.  The stall featured a traffic lights theme, solar power and an “serious” electric motorbike to attract attention.

CSE23 Stall

Click here for short 12 second video of stall.


Presentation on Zero Emissions Vehicles in the ACT Government

Trish Campbell and Satinder Sahota from City Services (TCCS) in the ACT Government gave an extremely interesting presentation on how TCCS is transitioning to EVs.

Trish gave a broad background to the Government’s policies driving the transition – in particular the legislated emissions reduction target.  TCCS has over 500 vehicles in its fleet; these are very diverse – cars/trucks/mowers/earth moving equipment/garbage trucks/etc.

Satinder described the challenges TCCS faces in changing over to EVs in the individual vehicle sub‑categories. In some categories the transition has gone very well but there have also been failures.  He highlighted the electrification of mowing equipment as a positive – improved operator experience with less risk of getting bogged and lower maintenance requirements compared to conventional equipment. He made similar positive comments about EV versions of a tipper truck, road sweepers and excavators.  The reduced noise of electrified equipment has benefits for the operators while also allowing greater utilisation rates because of reduced public disturbance (eg can be used early in the morning).

Electrification of a garbage compactor did not work out as it could not meet the duty requirements.  Replacing cars with PHEVs was found inferior to going to full BEVs.

October presenters

Presentation at October meeting on Zero emissions vehicles in ACT Government by Satinder Sahota, Director TCCS Fleet and Trish Campbell, Senior Director TCCS Sustainability 


5,000 EV publicity

On Tuesday 11th July AEVA ACT was proud to be apart of the media announcment with Minister Shane Rattenbury of over 5,000 registered electric vehicles in the ACT.  WIN TV and the ABC covered the event that inlcuded the launch of an online tool to help choose an electric vehicle.

 ACT Paul and Shane Rattenbury

AEVA ACT members Paul and Kate. Paul is showing Minister Shane Ratenbury his electric motorcycle. Source: ACT Government

EV Experience Day, 9 July

A great turn out by ACT members at the Town Centre Vikings in Tuggeranong where the the public were able to chat to EV owners and take passenger rides in a wide range of different EV models.

Members Picnic

An enthusiastic group braved the Canberra chilly wind for a picnic at Red Hill lookout on Sunday May 21st, just before winter kicks in. A highlight was using the vehicle-to-load (V2L) feature of the BYD Atto 3 to cook sausages and provide hot capsule coffee.

Now we're cooking on Red Hill


Activities during 2022

The Branch held a successful EV Experience event at London Circuit on 16 January 2022.

The next EV Experience event comprised the AEVA ACT contribution to Shannons Wheels at the Queanbeyan Showground on 6 March 2022. The EV display attracted hundreds of visitors, well over half being ACT residents.  Although passenger rides were not offered, the visitors engaged in almost non-stop conversation with the EV owners for 3.5 hours.  One of our cars was chosen as the Car of the Show.  This car, displayed by John Smith, is a Tesla Model 3 fitted with hand controls.  John contracted polio at a very young age, and drives his Model 3 using the hand controls, accompanied by a foldup wheelchair that fits easily in the boot.

The Branch held a major event – the Zero Emissions EVenture – on 24 April 2022.  A formal report is available here.  A further description of the event can be found here.

The next EV Experience event was held at London Circuit on 5 June 2022.  This event was less well attended due to poor weather, but a good range of EVs was displayed and there were many useful conversations with visitors.

The Branch supported the National EV Expo on 6-7 August 2022, held at Exhibition Park in Canberra.  Feedback from attendees and vendors at the Expo was overwhelmingly positive. Media reports indicated around 10,000 members of the public attended.  The Branch organised two days of “try/rides”, involving 12 different EV models, which provided passenger rides to more than 500 members of the public.

Our Policy Co-ordinator (Peter Campbell) organised a submission to the ACT Assembly inquiry into the uptake of EVs in the ACT.  About 10 of our members contributed to that submission, and several members also made individual submissions.  Our submission can be found here.

The Branch also participated in the NRMA EV Drive event at Wagga on 17-18 September.


Activities during 2021

The Branch had an important meeting with the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability (Shane Rattenbury) in February 2021.  This meeting was called in response to work by several of our members to spell out our future needs for EV charging infrastructure in the ACT.  Among other things, the Minister confirmed that the expansion of public charging infrastructure is planned for 2021/22, that used EVs are included in the $15,000 loan scheme and that the hold up with legislating a requirement for EV charging in all new apartment buildings was more bureaucratic than due to push back from developers.

The Launch of the “Zero Emissions, Go Electric” (ZEGE) Project in May 2021 was an opportunity to further strengthen the relationship with the ACT Government, and to involve the National AEVA President (Chris Nash).  This led to contact with ACT officials to seek financial support for the AEVA National Conference and Expo in Canberra in 2022.

The Zero Emissions EVenture was planned as a highlight of the ZEGE Project.  There was a Pilot of the EVenture on 1 August 2021, and plans were developed to conduct the EVenture itself on 18 September.  However, it had to be postponed after the ACT lockdown was introduced, and then twice extended, in August and September.  The Project has helped to build additional relationships, such as with Yutong buses and Neuron Mobility.

As part of the ZEGE Project, the Branch organised successful “EV Experience” (try/ride) events in May, June and July 2021, which, apart from being a lot of fun for those who participated, allowed the Canberra community to develop its EV knowledge and understanding.  The Branch also assisted AEVA Victoria to hold an EV Showcase at the Eldorado Off-Grid Living Festival in April 2021.

The year saw more movement than previous years on public EV charging, including from private charging companies such as Chargefox and Evie, ActewAGL moving to partner with Evie to revamp the local charging network, a commitment from the ACT government to install 50 local chargers, federal funding through ARENA, initially for fast DC chargers in urban areas and a second round for regional charging, and Tesla announced an intention to open up its charging network to other brands.

We initiated contact with ActewAGL to draw attention to deficiencies in existing charging infrastructure.  We subsequently participated in a launch of the ActewAGL partnership with Evie Networks in early June 2021, and we have a Memorandum of Understanding with ActewAGL to work together to promote EV use in the ACT. Their plans for the ActewAGL charging network seem well aligned with the advice and preferences from our members that we presented to them.

Our Branch took a leading role in developing an AEVA response to a draft update to parts of the National Construction Code dealing with requirements for provision of EV charging in apartment buildings. Sensible requirements include leaving space for retrofitting on circuit boards and cable trays and the installation of ‘charge control devices’ to ensure that EVs will only be charged when there is available capacity in the building (generally any time other than the evening peak).

During 2021 our monthly meetings were impacted by Covid 19.  It became necessary to revert to Zoom-only meetings in August, September and October 2021 as a result of the ACT lockdown.

During the year the website has been updated with “information resources” pages, covering matters such as facts about EVs, ACT Government incentives, EV charging in strata properties, and the etiquette associated with the use of public chargers.