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Government continues to delay electric car trial in Australia.

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Senator Christine Milne


Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Government continues to delay electric car trial in Australia

Coalition senators today refused to back an Australian Greens' call for the government to facilitate the trial of the Reva electric car in Australia.

Greens transport spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said the federal government's delay in issuing the necessary permits to enable the Reva trial was unacceptable when the Indian-manufactured vehicle had been approved for use in the European Union, Japan and Malta, and was being tested in several other markets, including the USA.

"The electric car is one of a suite of initiatives that can significantly reduce Australia's dependence on oil, which is critical given the looming crunch as demand exceeds economically viable supplies," Senator Milne said in Canberra.

"This vehicle, which I have had the opportunity to test drive on a private road, also offers the potential to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It has a top speed of 65 kilometres per hour, and can travel up to 80 kilometres before requiring charging.

"For months, the federal government has been frustrating the trial for the Reva, and the importer, the Adelaide-based Solar Shop, now faces the prospect of having to export the car or have it destroyed early next month if a trial does not proceed.

"The Greens are calling on the Local Government, Territories and Roads Minister Jim Lloyd to expedite the matter when transport ministers meet in Canberra on Friday."

Senator Milne's motion was defeated 34 votes to 31. The text of the motion appears below.

Contact: Katrina Willis 02 6277 3063 or 0437 587 562

Senator Milne moved the following motion today:

That the senate: (a) notes that:

(i) the Reva electric car has been approved for use in

the European Union, Japan and Malta and is being test marketed in the USA, Sri Lanka, Norway, Ireland, Switzerland, Romania and Cyprus,

(ii) electric vehicles can reduce both Australia's

dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gas emissions, particularly when recharged with renewable electricity, (iii) based on accident and insurance data, the chance of a

fatality occurring in a Reva is around 50% less than in an ordinary car.

(b) calls on the Government to:

(i) remove any impediment that would prevent the import

of 20 Revas into Australia for a trial, (ii) investigate the adoption of the UNECE Heavy

Quadricycle category 92/61/EC as a vehicle class, (iii) extend the import permit to delay the destruction or

export of the one Reva vehicle currently in Australia until such a time a final decision is taken in regard to adoption of the heavy quadricycle vehicle category.

Katrina Willis Adviser Office of Senator Christine Milne Ph: 03 6234 4566 0437 587562 Fax: 03 6234 2144