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Happy birthday to the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) created since 1973

Created after the oil price shocks of 1973, the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) turned 50 this year and, believe it or not, is now the longest continuously operating electric vehicle society in the world.

Yet from within, progress has seemed so slow that it's easy to think we haven't made a difference over the years. However, looking back at even the last 12 years that I have been involved, AEVA has done a lot.

In 2009, AEVA was a partner of the University of WA's Renewable Energy Vehicle (REV) Project, providing technical support and beta testers for the early days of electric vehicle testing.

AEVA also assisted with the development of safety systems and engineering details during the conversion of 10 Ford Focus vehicles to electric (carried out locally at EV Works, Kewdale). This was before it was even possible to buy an electric vehicle in Australia!

In fact, that project precipitated the need to develop NCOP14 (the code of practice for the safe construction of ICE to EV conversions).

NCOP14 was largely developed by AEVA in conjunction with state transportation authorities. AEVA is also a partner organization with the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society. (Project leader Dr. Yuan Peng will share her results at the AEVA EV Conference and Exhibition on November 3.)

AEVA's WA branch prepared the first detailed plan for an 'Electric Highway' between Perth and Augusta in 2013, and presented it to anyone who would listen. Finally the WA RAC saw it and said, 'Actually, we'll build it!'

The RAC Electric Highway was commissioned in 2015 and was Australia's first contiguous public DC charging network. This was also the moment I learned that electric vehicles were on an unstoppable trajectory here in Oz.

AEVA continues to play a key advisory role in the rollout of government charging infrastructure, most recently with the WA EV network, one of the longest contiguous DC charging networks in the world.

Even in recent years, AEVA members have been rolling up their sleeves and doing the engineering and planning for a host of electromobility projects, including Electrikhana (a test drive event for the public to experience the smile of electric vehicles), fast DC biodiesel. chargers in the Nullarbor, fundraising for essential charging points in outback and remote areas of western Queensland and the NT, including supporting electric vehicle endurance and tarmac rally racing challengers, the TOCEVA races.

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