Tesla arrival tells us that the future is electric transport

By Stephen Bygrave. In RenewEconomy, December 16 2014

The Tesla Model S launch earlier this week marks the beginning of electric vehicle technology becoming commonplace in Australia.  Add to that the trends we are seeing in electric bicycles and motorbikes, and it is clear that the electric transport revolution is well underway.


Photo: Sam Parkinson

Passenger vehicles currently contribute about 7% per cent of Australia’s total CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions; with a shift to electric vehicles powered by renewables this could be eliminated.  Beyond Zero Emissions, an Australian-based, not-for-profit climate change solutions think-tank, is currently developing a zero carbon plan for personal transport.

Mining transport jobs at risk?

By Charles Pauka. Transport and Logistics News, November 25 2014

Photo courtesy of the ABC.

Photo courtesy of the ABC.

New research by Beyond Zero Emissions, referenced by Ross Garnaut at the recent Melbourne Economic Forum, details what it calls “the vast gap between Australian government projections and the realities of trade in a carbon-constrained global economy”.

Announcements from the US, China and India prior to the G20 meeting made clear that international markets are moving away from fossil fuels, including countries that are key importers of Australia’s coal and gas.

Hayden Smith - Sunswift - 1st road legal solar car

Project manager Hayden Smith leads Sunswift, a team of University of New South Wales (UNSW) engineering students, undertaking a most ambitious goals: Making eVe the Southern Hemisphere’s 1st road legal solar passenger car. The team has been working hard in the hopes of officially registering with the Roads & Maritime Services as early as March 2015. Making eVe road legal is a huge task requiring a major redesign and rebuild of almost every aspect of the car. The resources and engineering effort required is considerable and Hayden and the team ran a successful crowd funding campaign to .

Sunswift eVe is the fifth generation solar car designed and built by the UNSW Solar Racing Team, Sunswift. Built for practicality, speed, and endurance, eVe is the embodiment of Australian innovation and design. Originally created for the 2013 World Solar Challenge – Cruiser Class, eVe sets a new standard for sustainable transportation, offering high performance, efficiency, comfort and style – all powered directly from the sun.

Related podcasts:

UNSW Sunswift solar car takes line honours

Dr David Finn - Australian Tritium EV chargers exporting to the world

High Speed Rail - all aboard for Brisbane!

This show was broadcast on Mon 1 September 2014

High Speed Rail & Electric Cars

Beyond Zero's Vivien and Jane talk to Brad Shultz, organiser of the Brisbane launch for the ZCA High Speed Rail report. Speakers at the launch will discuss the technical, economic and social issues relating to high speed rail in Australia. Speakers included Stephen Bygrave, CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions, and Queensland Senator Larissa Waters

High Speed Rail launching soon

With BZE's High Speed Rail Report launching soon, we recap a popular program featuring interviews with BZE research director Gerard Drew, Gen Okajima

Fly by rail: 5 reasons fast trains have an Aussie future

By Stephen Bygrave, Climate Spectator

What goes up must come down. At least in the case of airplanes, that's true. But as airplanes keep going up, so do greenhouse gas emissions – these emissions stay in the atmosphere and do not come down.

High speed rail, on the other hand, is on the up and up, and can run without contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Europe has had high speed rail since the 1960s. China, Japan and Korea all have high speed rail. India has this year announced it is investigating the feasibility of building high speed rail.

Click to book your free seat at the Melbourne launch on April 9

Australian governments have for over 30 years toyed with the idea of building a high-speed rail line on the east coast, and there are finally moves underway to set aside the corridor in which a system could be built. This follows the previous federal government’s $20 million high speed rail implementation study which found a significant economic benefit to Australia returning $2.30 for every $1 invested.

Think-tank Beyond Zero Emissions has just completed a two-year study into HSR in Australia which shows that rail can not only dramatically reduce transport emissions, but also be built for $30 billion less than the most recent government study.

UNSW Sunswift solar car takes line honours

Alexander To is Business Team Manager and Engineer on the Sunswift project - Australia’s premier solar car racing team from Sydney’s University of New South Wales (UNSW). On 11 October 2013, Sunswift's latest solar car, eVe, clinched line honours, arriving first in the 2013 World Solar Challenge from Darwin to Adelaide. 

Graphs: Can high-speed rail cut air travel emissions?


Australia’s domestic air travel (and its associated greenhouse emissions) has grown markedly – especially in the last 10 years, as this graph illustrates.

Air travel (passenger km) data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics

We have calculated emissions using the short-haul average emissions per passenger-kilometre as used by the UK government. This takes into account radiative forcing effects of combustion at altitude, nearly doubling the climate impact of the emissions compared to Australian government estimates.

High Speed Rail and Australia's first Earthship

Vivien talks to Duuvey Jester who built Australia's first Earthship near Bundaberg.Then, Cameron Rosen, Builder of Daphna Tull Sustainable House design in Sydney.

We hear from Patrick Hearps, research director of the Zero Carbon Australia Transport Plan about BZE's plan for High Speed Rail (HSR) for Australia. Then Tim Colebatch, on his article on 'Getting Delhi Metro Project up in record time'.

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