Driving a new type of power
PASSIONATE: Dean Condon and Ergon CEO Ian McLeod ERGON Energy chief executive Ian McLeod is imagining a world without fossil fuels.
The electricity boss has unveiled the electric car made by Mitsubishi that will be put to the test in day-to-day situations around the city over the next three years in a bid to understand energy use and the effects of recharging the cars on Townsville power grid network. Mr Mc L e o d s a i d h e w a s passionate about the project.
‘‘ I have a passion for a future which doesn’t rely on fossil fuels and reduces carbon,’’ he said.
The peak time for electricity use was 6pm when residents returned home from work and s w i t c h e d o n t h e i r airconditioners, plasma TVs and computers. If an electric car owner was to plug their car in at that time for a charge, it would cause the system to overload.
The challenge for Ergon will be to find a pricing regulation incentive during those off-peak times, he said.
If successful, the financial benefits for the driver would be huge.
The vehicle costs just $ 2 in electricity for 100km versus $ 8/ 9 per 100km in petrol, takes six hours to charge, and has a 120km driving range.
On ‘‘ rapid charge’’, it could be returned to full power in 15 minutes.
Mr Mcleod said he had already taken the vehicle for a spin.
‘‘ I drove the vehicle around Brisbane last year and I see it as a city run-about that will help reduce carbon,’’ he said. Solar Cities installation manager Dean Condon said he was trying to take the car to the centre of the Solar Cities project, on Magnetic Island.
‘‘ It is nice to read the pretty brochure and for the manufacturers to say this is what the product is,’’ he said.
‘‘ But until you get it and trial the product for yourself . . . you can then get a full appreciation of the product and its benefits.
‘‘ The solar city projects have a number of consortium members and Ergon is the lead member of it.
‘‘ It is just another part of Townsville being a solar city and it is great that we a choosing to look at the viability of such innovative ideas right here in Townsville.’’