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The Mercury Cars Guide : June 6th 2009
Saturday, June 6, 2009 Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Switch to electric market imminent —5 09 MICRA > ABS brakes > Dual front airbags > MP3 player input 5 DOOR AUTO , D 690RIVE AWAY $17 Metallic colour $495 extra. 08 Tiida ST Sedan or Hatch > ABS brakes > Dual front airbags > Air conditioning MANUAL $19690 $21690 , Metallic colour $495 extra. AUTOMATIC , Metallic colour $495 extra. SWITCH ON: A MAZDA CX-9 uses the Better Place battery switch system. Electric car charging points in carparks and homes, and battery switching stations throughout Australia will be a reality from 2012. Mark Hinchliffe reports C ALIFORNIA-BASEDBetter Place plans to roll out its charging points and battery switching infrastructure in IsraelandDenmarkin 2011, followedby Australia then North America. Better Place Australia CEO Evan Thornley said keeping electric cars powered up required the two-pronged approach. ‘‘We will put plug-in points in carparks at the shopping centre, at home and at work to keep cars charging up while they are parked between 20 and 22 hours a day,’’ Mr Thornley said. ‘‘Charge spots will keep you going most times, but when you have a long trip you will need a battery-switching station. ‘‘We will play the role to electric vehicles that petrol stations play for petrol cars.’’ Better Place recently debuted its automated battery-switching technology in Yokohama, Ja- pan. The system replaces the depleted battery with a charged battery in under one minute. The car is driven on to a platform and the driver stays in the vehicle while two robotic battery shuttles replace the battery. The battery shuttles are designed to work with a variety of battery sizes and shapes in a range of electric vehicles. Mr Thornley said Better Place would roll out charging points and switching stations con- jointly. ‘‘We haven’t started yet because there’s no point in plug-in points until there are plug-in vehicles and there is no point having the plug-in vehicle until there are plug-in points. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing.’’ He said motorists would pay a similar price to keep their electric car running as they would for a petrol car. ‘‘We are confident we will deliver something competitive with petrol, because the energy costs are lower, but the cost of the battery is higher,’’ he said. Better Place would have a range of payment options availablesuchasamonthlyfixed price or per-kilometre metering. ‘‘We will only use green power from existing wind and solar providers who, no doubt, will scale up with extra capacity as we have more customers,’’ Mr Thornley said. ‘‘The adoption program will probably be over the next 20 years.’’ Mr Thornley said they would demonstrate the technology around Australia before the roll-out begins. ‘‘We’ll do the initial deployment and get most people up and running in most places, but can’t guarantee we will be on the Birdsville Track in 2012,’’ he said. He said Better Places Australia was working with the Macquarie Group to raise about a billion dollars in capital for the roll-out and had formed a partnership with renewable energy provider AGL. ‘‘Australians spend $20 billion a year on petrol,’’ he said. ‘‘If over the next two years all the fleet moved to electric cars, the cost of the zero-emission electricity would be about $5 billion. ‘‘That’s $15 billion a year to pay for the batteries and charging infrastructure.’’ Mr Thornley said he expected a range of competitors to enter the market, but he was not aware of any in Australia yet. ‘‘There is certainly no one else doing exactly what we are doing, but given the scale of the electric car revolution there will be a lot of companies so there will be a lot of competition,’’ he said. writes Karla Pincott. Imagine a car battery that lasts the life of the car. Imagine a car that weighs a lot less and doesn’t rely on the battery to power win- dows, mirrors, seats and other convenience features, including fuel-saving stop- start functions. Those are both clear possi- bilitites with a supercapaci- tor, the cutting edge of cur- rent electric technology. Basically, a supercapaci- tor has two isolated plates that hold charge between them, can be charged as quickly as you can pumpthe supply into them, has little to wear out, and — with an almost indefinite life — do not create disposal prob- lems. Supercapacitors are al- Super-cars are on the way T HE potential of super- capacitors has the car industry excited, ready being used to provide acceleration bursts in elec- tric cars and capture the energy of regenerative brak- ing, but could spread quickly through future cars, accord- ing to the company that supplied systems for the aX- ess Australia and E-Commodore concept cars. ‘‘There’s a role for them in stop-start systems,’’ Austra- lia’s CAP-XX’s Anthony Kongats said. ‘‘That’s under develop- ment with a number of companies.’’ ButMrKongats says there are considerable gains to be made by scattering superca- pacitors throughout a car— a concept also in develop- ment. ‘‘To power various func- tions throughout the car that require a burst of electrical energy — like power win- dows or airbags—you could , DRIVE AWAY DRIVE AWAY 09 Navara D22 4x2 Cab Chassis DX > ABS brakes > Common-rail turbo diesel engine > Dual front airbags > Air conditioning TURBO DIESEL MANUAL D 890RIVE AWAY $21 FOR ABN HOLDERS Metallic colour $495 extra. 09 X-Trail ST > ALL MODE 4x4-i > Electronic stability control (ESP) > 6 airbags > Air conditioning D 690RIVE AWAY $33 MANUAL PETROL , Metallic colour $495 extra. 09 Navara D22 ST-R Dual Cab > ABS brakes > Common-rail turbo diesel engine > Dual front airbags > 2,800kg braked towing capacity D 990RIVE AWAY FOR ABN HOLDERS Metallic colour $495 extra. $33 MANUAL , 08 Patrol Wagon ST > ABS brakes > Common-rail turbo diesel engine > Dual front airbags > 3,200kg braked towing capacity D 690RIVE AWAY $56 , Metallic colour $495 extra. THE NEW 370Z HAS ARRIVED! > 3.7 litre V6 > 6-speed manual with a “world-first” SynchroRev Match or 7-speed automatic locate small supercapacitors next to the need,’’ he said. ‘‘This means you can run a thinner wiring harness because you don’t have to deliver from the car battery or alternator,’’ he said. ‘‘The weight saving would be quite tremendous.’’ Mr Kongats said that, as supercapacitors develop, batteries will also improve because designers will not have to compromise their ability to store by making them also provide high cur- rent. Thismeansyour future notebook computer or mo- bile will have a battery that lasts the life of the appliance. And the same could poten- tially apply to car batteries, though they are more likely to be overtaken by other technology, Kongats said. TEST DRIVE TODAY! EL GIBL ELIGIBLE FOR A 50 50% INVEST INVESTMENT ALLO NT ALLOWANCE? Is your small business eligible for the Federal Government’s proposed Investment Allowance? If new legislation is passed, you may be able to claim a tax credit of 50% on new or demo vehicles purchased for your small business before 31 December 2009. Check your eligibility with your tax adviser. † For private and business fleet buyers only. Genuine Nissan general purpose aluminium tray. All Nissan vehicles come with 3 year/100,000km warranty and 3-year 24-hour roadside assistance. Nissan reserves the right to withdraw, vary or extend any offer. www.djmotors.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org 235 ARGYLE STREET HOBART PH 6213 3300 Team NissanDealers EASY FINANCE AVAILABLE WITH DJ FINANCIAL SERVICES AFTER HOURS Keith McIntyre 0408 430 748 Cameron Gibson 0417 510 842 Ben Steedman 0438 121 377 NIS284 11 FUNKY COLOURS FREE ALLOY TRAY†
May 30th 2009
June 13th 2009