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EGO Powerplus launches electric self propelled mower

Ego Powerplus, the first company to bring high voltage battery lawnmower a to Australia, has just upped their game.

Available for some time in the USA, but just released here, their new 52cm self propelled mower is a leap ahead of their earlier offering, and on paper at least (I haven’t got my hands on one to test yet) a leap ahead of the competition as well.

As far as I am aware, this is the first self propelled battery mower on the Australian market, and is also the widest cut that I know of in a battery push mower available in Australia.

It also has a 7.5 Ah battery which blitzes the previous 4 Ah offering and is a jump on AEG’s 4Ah batteries.

EGO claim a 50 minute run time with the 7.5 Ah battery which sounds quite plausible to me. I routinely get 40-50 minutes on a 4Ah battery with the AEG mower I use daily in my work, which is an 18″ cut compared to the Ego 21″ cut and also the drain of the self drive motor.

The new mower is also available in a non self propelled variant which ships with a 5Ah battery, and the original 49cm mower is still available.

The new self propelled mower retails for $999 with the 7.5Ah battery included as well as the rapid charger which charges the big battery in around an hour.

If you want the push version, that comes with the rapid charger also, but a 5Ah battery which charges faster naturally. Run time should be similar without the self propulsion energy draw to worry about.

The larger battery can also be ordered as an extra on the other models of mower, and is interchangeable across the entire EGO range of tools which includes a blower, line trimmer, hedge trimmer, and chainsaw.

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AEG Leaf Blower

Having been impressed by the AEG 58 volt lawnmower and line trimmer, I have bought the leaf blower as well.

Ther will be a full review coming soon, but first impressions are good. It won’t quite match a good 2 stroke unit for power but it isn’t embarrassed by them either.

Leaf blowers are usually started up, used for a few minutes from cold, then shut down. Bad for the engine and bad for emissions. An electric blower is ready to go at full power with the pull of a trigger.

This one is a keeper.

Chinese carmaker BYD planning to come to Australia

Large Chinese carmaker BYD auto (Build Your Dreams) is planning a likely launch in Australia in the near future, initially offering its e6 electric people mover.

The e6 is touted as having an urban range of 300 kilometres, and with its 90kW 450Nm motor should have quite adequate performance.

BYD is aiming mainly at the taxi market, as the vehicle will be fairly expensive (likely to be around $80,000) but offers the unique EV prospect of high range and seven seats.

The cars will probably be distributed by Ateco, who already handle distribution of several Chinese brands.

First public charger in northern Tasmania goes live today!

Wed 25th Nov 2015.

Today at 1pm northern Tasmania’s first public EV charger will be launched at House of Anvers chocolate factory on the Bass Highway in Latrobe.

We here at Electric Highway believe that this is a shining role model for other tourist attractions throughout Tasmania. If most of the major tourist stops had charging points then it would be entirely possible to tour the whole state in an EV without any range worries, charging at each stop as you enjoy the activities.

Way to go Anvers!

My Mitsubishi i MiEV is up for sale!

After two years of trouble free motoring, we have decided to put my beloved Mitusbishi i MiEV up for sale…

I would dearly love to keep this car, it’s fun to drive and cheap to run and all the rest…but a combination of reasons means that I am letting it go.

Firstly, it is a small car and I have a growing family and frequently find ourselves carting extended family or friends, so often we find ourselves using the Hilux for a family trip because of its extra seat…then there is the fact that most of my driving these days is for my work, which requires towing a trailer so the poor i MiEV can’t do the job, hence the Hilux…

We will get much more value out of an electric work ute than an electric runabout that is mainly used for shopping locally, so the plan is to convert a ute to electric which is not going to be cheap because I need a decent range and tow a trailer, so plenty of batteries will be required! I can’t afford to do that AND keep the i MiEV…

I have listed it for sale on Gumtree and it is on display this weekend at the Hobart Sustainable Living Festival if you are in the area and want a look!

Offering for sale at $25,000 negotiable.

Call 0406 905 116 to discuss or arrange a test drive!

Electric bus to try for long distance record

Chinese-Australian company Brighsun is attempting a long distance record tomorrow morning, aiming to enter the Guinness record with the longest trip on one charge by an electric vehicle.

Currently the record is held by a Tesla Model S, at over 700 kilometres. Brighsun are attempting to better this by travelling from Melbourne to Sydney, a distance of almost 900 kilometres…in a bus!

The Brighsun buses are similar in most respects to conventional diesel buses, but have big battery packs to allow long range. The city bus has a 500 kWh pack while the tour coach has a 518 kWh pack.

Brighsun have expressed interest in opening a manufacturing facility here in Australia, based in Victoria and using the skill base that will be left behind when local car manufacture ceases in the next year and a half.

Click here for a YouTube video of the bus.

Tasmanian Government to trial electric vehicles

Tasmania’s Minister for Growth, Matthew Groom, has said at the Greenhouse 2015 conference in Hobart that the State Government will shortly begin a trial of electric vehicles in the Government fleet.

At least 19 EVs will be added to the government fleet before the end of 2015.

This marks a sharp shift in the attitude of Tasmania’s government towards electric vehicles, and is a positive move towards a more widespread take up of EVs in the Island State.

Volvo to add plug in hybrids across its entire model range by 2019

Swedish carmaker Volvo has announced that they will be adding plug in hybrid versions of every car in their model range as well as selling a purely electric car by 2019.

Volvo already have plug in hybrid versions of the XC90 SUV and V60 on the market, with the next model planned for hybrid being the luxury sedan S90.

Volvo’s CEO said that the company expects 10% of its sales to be electric vehicles by 2020, and that the time had come for electric vehicles to become mainstream instead of niche.

Volvo has experience with EVs already. For several years they build a pure EV version of the C30 for selected markets only, and have been making a limited range of plug in hybrids for a couple of years also in certain markets only. This announcement that they will extend PHEVs across their entire range is a bold commitment to the technology.

Two factors influencing Volvo’s enthusiasm are their home market of Scandinavia, where EVs have gained rapid market acceptance and take up (Norway has the highest EV ownership rates in the world per capita) and the growing push for low pollution vehicles in China. Volvo is owned by Geely Group, a Chinese company that bought the Swedish carmaker from Ford several years ago, and although they leave Volvo to make its own decisions the needs of the Chinese market do play a role.

EVs at the Sustainable Living Festival

The Tasmanian Sustainable Living Festival is almost here again!

Held at Hobart’s Princes Wharf 1 over the weekend of 31st October-1st November 2015, the festival is open from 10am to 4pm.

There will be many interesting things at the festival, but for the first time the Australian Electric Vehicle Association Tasmania will be there, with EV experts and owners available to answer your questions, as well as a display of electric vehicles that you can look at up close, maybe even jump in and see how it fits!

Come along, have a look, have a chat, and see why EV owners are so passionate about their ride!

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