Big man in a little electric car

CANBERRA’S electric car lobby group has enlisted ACT Brumbies player Scott Fardy to drive around town in a tiny, fully electric hatchback this month and spruik its benefits on social media.

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L-R: ACT Electric Vehicle Council spokesperson Ron Collins, Council member Julia McDonald and ACT Brumbies player Scott Fardy.

The rugby player has begun posting updates to his Twitter profile (@scottfardy) about how he goes in the fully electric hatchback, using the hashtag “#EVsrock”.

“To me, electric vehicles are a no brainer,” says Fardy in a statement from the ACT Electric Vehicle Council and Rock Development Group, which jointly organised the promotion.

He is especially impressed by the reported financial benefits of driving the tiny Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which was Australia’s first mass-marketed fully electric car.

“I know that at times I cringe at petrol prices,” Fardy says. “An electric car sure has less of an impact on your wallet. I couldn’t believe it when the Council told me I could charge it up overnight for less than the price of a pie at a Brumbies game!”

According to ACT Electric Vehicle Council chairman Ron Collins, who works as a corporate affairs and regional policy specialist at the NRMA, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV can drive about 60 km on a charge that would cost a Canberra resident between 9 and 15 cents.

The Council argues that Canberra is a perfect city to adopt electric cars, as the “ACT has the cheapest electricity in the country whereas the price of petrol is 10c/L higher than the national average”.

Owners of fully electric vehicles in the ACT also pay no duty with their registration, under the Green Vehicle Scheme.

Driving an electric car is still associated with some air pollution, as most electricity in Australia comes from coal-fired power stations, but the Council’s website asserts that electric cars, “even when charged with coal-fired power, still produce much less greenhouse emissions than petrol vehicles”.

According to an investigation by the ABC consumer affairs program “The Checkout”, the Mitsubishi i-Miev accounts for less air pollution per kilometre in every state of Australia apart from Victoria.

For a higher price, environmentally conscious electric vehicle owners can also choose to pay more for electricity that comes from renewable sources.

The ACT Electric Vehicle Council includes representatives from the Australian Electric Car Association, ActewAGL, the ACT Government’s Economic Development Directorate, the ANU Climate Change Institute, the ACT Greens, the NRMA, the Motor Trades Association, ZOO Advertising and GreenMag Group.

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