Electric Car


Story Details

For months, the price of petrol has dominated national headlines and become the bane of our day to day lives - and for good reason. No one wants to pay $2 or $3 per litre

Yet while the federal government is waving millions at Toyota to produce a cleaner and cheaper solution, tt seems our state government has let a home grown opportunity go begging.

Two years ago, Blackwood electrician and would-be environmentalist Dickson Beattie watched the documentary "Who killed the electric car?" and something clicked.

The "EV1" was intended to solve all our future pollution problems and who knows had it been adopted all those years ago by car manufacturers, maybe there'd be less global warming or spiralling petrol prices to worry about.

So Dickson went about resurrecting the "EV1 " from its California grave by converting a conventional car into an electric one.

He picked the vehicle, did the research, got patents on parts and worked hand in hand with an engineer to produce South Australia's first viable electric car.

It was given the tick of approval by the RAA scrutineers at Regency Park and Hyundai even offered to honour the warranty on remaining parts once Dickson had done the conversion on their Getz model.

"We've kept all the safety features and the air conditioning, power steering, ABS, air bags yeah, most of the original parts are there" Dickson says

Top speed on the Electric Getz, 120 km's an hour. The cost to refuel - or make that recharge, just $1 for every hundred kilometres. You'll get at least 120 kilometres between charging and the life span of the lithium battery? 10 years.

Reporter: "You must be pretty proud of your achievement?"

Dickson: "Yeah I am. I still want to see them out there. I want to see a lot more electric cars on the road that's my dream"

There was only one authority left to convince, the state government, but that's where he hit a brick wall.

"We've approached the government in South Australia numerous times and had all but nothing back from them and federally we haven't had much response from the govt either"

So now he's turning on the silent ignition and moving his $33 thousand dollar device to the Garden State where he's being welcomed with open arms.

Greens MLC Mark Parnell says he can't believe the government wouldn't jump at the chance to mass produce clean electric cars which could harness wind and solar power - especially after the demise of Mitsubishi.

"I think it's a tragedy that he's gone interstate and in fact it's the 2nd time something like this has happened in a couple of years. What the state govt need to do is they need to make it clear that this state is open for business not just for big mining companies but also for young smart green innovators, we need to give them support and that means financial support"

As the orders start piling up in Melbourne, Dickson has his work cut out but he says nothing is forever and it's never too late to bring him back to his home state.

For more information go to: www.bev.com.au