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Bas de Groot - 15 Apr 2016

Electronic cars industry

With the demand for electrical cars ramping up (http://www.sciencealert.com/the-netherlands-is-making-moves-to-ban-all-non-electric-vehicles-by-2025) and the knowledge available from Flinders Uni, what's stopping SA from starting up an electrical cars industry, using the facilities that Holden's leaving behind, and expanding on it with help from Flinders Uni and their contacts in the Netherlands through the Solar Race? And having an electrical cars company producing in SA will make that type of car more readily available and familiar, making it much easier to then get South Australians on board with driving electrical cars, which would reduce our carbon footprint.

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Michael Smyth

24 Jun 2016

Bas,
There certainly are businesses looking at opportunities for manufacturing the future transport solutions in South Australia, and also the manufacture of high-value components that are essential to their construction. In Australia we already have quiet achievers, such as Tritium in Brisbane who manufacture EVSE (electric vehicle chargers) and EV motor controllers that are among the best in the world. So Australia certainly has the latent capacity to be world-beaters in this area, as future vehicles will require more high-value knowledge-based energy management and data systems, not just low unit manufacturing costs.

I can't speak for high-volume manufacturers and potential re-use of Holden's facilities, but another often-forgotten manufacturing sector in Australia is the "specialised vehicle" sector, which remains active and profitable (Paccar Kenworth in Melbourne, Volvo trucks in Brisbane, Bombardier in Melbourne, Bustech on the Gold Coast and Custom Coaches in Sydney). Reports of the death of the transport manufacturing industry in Australia are somewhat exaggerated. These manufacturers are also active innovators; for example, Swinburne University have assisted in development of electric busses for export to Malaysia.

A critical missing element at the moment is acknowledgement and support for this niche sector, which rarely requires Government support and is also the training ground for innovators and skilled trades. If you look at the revival of the automotive manufacturing sector in the United Kingdom (which was close to collapse not too long ago), one of the great success stories has been the outstanding performance of its "specialist car manufacturers" that typically make less than 1000 vehicles per company per annum. The UK now has a vibrant manufacturing sector with over 100 active small-volume automotive companies, from McLaren & Aston Martin, to Catheram and Radical.

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Tomasz Wilinski

19 Jun 2016

Think same. Place after Holden shall be used for manufacture electrical car. SA government should start to talk with Tesla. It is worth give them even 10 years tax-free period. Same time number of grants should be direct to the technology of store and produce hydrogen by using solar energy. We have now technology to convert hydrogen into electrical current (H + O2 => current + H2O). Now we need to close the loop (H2O + SUN => H + O2). That's may be a further method of storage electricity (instead of battery). Like solar/electrical panels we have today, solar/hydrogen panels next stop.
Any home will have solar panels and hydrogen tank for supply fuel to produce current for home and charge a car. Do not need grid connection with a power network. Do not need goes to a petrol station or charge station. Clean and cost reduction same time.
Question. Is a government ready for that revolution? Is government enough strong to break oil companies resistance?

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Dennis Levy

16 May 2016

A good idea, but what about hydrogen fuel cell cars? What about biofuel cars? Does a plug-in hybrid count as an electric car, or do they have to be 100% electric? There is also the issue that self-driving cars will become incompatible with other vehicles, but not all self-driving vehicles are electric.

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