Australia Certifies Its First ZEV

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
australia certifies its first zev

CarDomain brings us the story of the Blade Runner , a battery-powered Hyundai Getz minicar which is the first vehicle recognized by Australia's Scientific and Industrial Research Organization as a domestically produced ZEV. For about $35k you get room for four, AC, powers steering, and a 62-mile range from pure electric power. The Blade Runner is the brainchild of Ross Blade from Harcourt Australia, whose Blade Electric Vehicles company strips the dirty gas-burning bits from the Getz and retrofits it with lithium iron phosphate batteries, regenerative braking and a 40kw electric engine. The Blade Runner even offers 880 lbs of towing capacity and a top speed of 75 mph, although the the 7 seconds to 62 kph (37 mph) must seem like an eternity when the kids are late for community gardening class. Still, the Blade Runner offers a peek at the burgeoning ZEV-retrofit industry, and a refreshing dose of reality in contrast to, say, the ZAP approach to bringing ZEVs to market.

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  • Malcolmmacaulay Malcolmmacaulay on Mar 28, 2008

    50merc : ...Recharge time is 9 hours at 240 volts and 10 amps. Would it be about twice as long at the usual 110 - 115 volt household circuit here?... No. It would just draw 20 Amps.

  • Nicodemus Nicodemus on Mar 29, 2008

    I went to the Blade factory last week. The term backyard doesn't quite do it justice. It is literally done in a farm shed with a dirt floor.

  • Ryan Knuckles Ryan Knuckles on Mar 29, 2008

    I wonder what they do with the motors? Wait, they're Hyundais.. I don't care.

  • Michal Michal on Mar 30, 2008

    The retrofit costs $35k. Does that mean I have to deliver them a $13k Getz for modification? I'm all for electric cars, and hats off to them for trying something the large car manufacturers are loathe to attempt, but $50k for a 100km range car is a bit steep. I hope they're not disappointed when customers don't exactly beat down their doors with orders. Only the gloomiest of doomer Peak Oilers will be interested. What about converting a Prius ($37k) to a plug in hybrid? Surely $10k will pay for a larger battery pack and the associated electronics.