ACT recent activities
This page summarises AEVA ACT activities during 2021.
Rob Ogilvie was elected Chair of the Branch in February 2021 after Edward Eom, the former Chair, stepped down due to health issues.
Our Branch now has more than 90 members. We expect our growth in membership to continue into next year as the adoption of EVs by the Canberra community accelerates.
Relations with ACT Government
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” 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 in Canberra in 2022.
“Zero Emissions, Go Electric” Project
Last year the Branch received funding under the ACT’s Community Zero Emissions program to run a series of activities to improve community understanding of EVs. The delivery of this project was delayed by several factors during 2021.
The Zero Emissions EVenture has been planned as a highlight of the 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. It is now likely to take place in February 2022.
The Project has helped to build additional relationships, such as with Yutong buses and Neuron Mobility.
As part of the 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.
This year has seen much 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 meetings have been 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 2021 our monthly meetings have featured:
- reviews of electric cars (Mini Electric by Jeff Knowles, MG ZS EV by Chris Vanderstock, and Tesla Model 3 by a panel of three of our members)
- a presentation on the future of charging infrastructure in the ACT by Todd Eagles and Brad Smith of ActewAGL
- a presentation on converting Kombi vans to electric, by Byron Bay business owner Alex Bosin
- a presentation on developments in battery technology by Keith Blackburn
- a presentation on charging etiquette, led by Pete Gorton
- a panel on plug-in hybrid vehicles, moderated by Peter Buscombe.
The AEVA ACT website continues to feature information about our forthcoming events, meeting agendas and minutes, and statistics derived from the ACT vehicle registration database. We are currently working with Access Canberra on a project to improve the accuracy of the database’s “motive power” vehicle classifications.
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.