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Right now, the idea of driving across regional Victoria and other parts of the country in an electric vehicle may seem a little far-fetched.
RACV thinks otherwise, and a lot of work has gone into not only making this a possibility in regional areas, but we’ve gone one step further and have actually placed electric vehicles into our Resorts for motorists to try for themselves. An Australian first initiative, the Green Car Program has been developed as a result of learnings from past involvement in programs such as the Victorian Electric Vehicle Trial, GreenZone Drive and other EV-related ventures.
Where are RACV’s Electric Vehicles located?
The RACV Green Car Program has placed electric vehicles (Nissan LEAF) at the following RACV Resorts: Noosa, Royal Pines, Hobart Apartment Hotel, Inverloch and Cobram. RACV members and guests staying at the Resorts can simply book the use of one of these cars to visit local attractions.
Resort staff are more than happy to provide details of the areas which fall comfortably within the vehicle’s range. And to make the experience even more enjoyable and “stress free”, RACV has been collaborating with many tourist hot spots to install additional RACV charging stations. Already, we have chargers located at the Phillip Island Penguin Nature Park (see picture above), Sovereign Hill, the Lorne Visitor Information Centre and Australia Zoo on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast – a short drive for the two LEAFs stationed at the RACV Noosa Resort. Ultimately, RACV aims to make all of Victoria (and the extended regions that surround our interstate Resorts) totally “EV” accessible. This will complement and build on the rapidly expanding EV charging network currently being established nationally as can be seen on websites and apps such as PlugShare.
Advantages of an Electric Vehicle
The range of advantages associated with the RACV Green Car Program is enormous. Fewer moving parts in the vehicles mean less wear and tear and lower maintenance costs and associated environmental impacts from disposal of used parts.
The Nissan LEAF is a five-door hatchback that produces no CO2 tailpipe emissions (in fact, it doesn’t even have a tailpipe) and relies on a lithium-ion battery that can handle up to 120km of driving from each full charge. Although it is a valid argument that many of the benefits associated with electric vehicles are negated if brown coal electricity is used to charge them, RACV has ensured the Green Car Program is wholly run via the purchase of certified renewable energy. Our push to members is the same – if you are considering the purchase of an electric vehicle, do so with the intention that you will run it using certified renewable energy.
We want your feedback
Just like our guest at RACV Hobart Apartment Hotel who tried out the LEAF and loved the experience (see clip below), we’d love to hear about your experience with the Green Car Program and electric vehicles. We’d also be keen to learn what your thoughts are about electric vehicles and future “low emissions vehicles” in general. Would you consider buying one if the price was right or battery technology allowed greater distances to be driven? Do you like the idea of RACV installing more stations around Victoria?
Written by Simon Mikedis, Environmental Sustainability Manager May 13, 2016