Australia has unveiled its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in Melbourne.
Australia has unveiled its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in Melbourne.. Click image to enlarge

Melbourne, Australia – Australia has unveiled its first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in Melbourne. The car is a collaboration of the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and “green development” company Szencorp. The model can be charged directly from the domestic power grid and has the efficiency to run up to 1,000 km without refuelling.

The Szencorp/UTS PHEV uses a converted Toyota Prius, fitted with extra batteries for greater storage and a power socket for direct charging. The new model follows last week’s announcement that Toyota will soon begin production of hybrid cars in Australia.

“Plug-in hybrid cars have the potential to revolutionize not only how we drive but how we generate and use electricity in our homes and workplaces,” said Chris Dunstan, Project Director from the UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures. “This car heralds a not-too-distant future where householders will charge up their cars from solar panels on their roof and then pump surplus power from their car back into the grid on days of high peak power demand.”

Dunstan said the conversion was commissioned by Szencorp and undertaken by UTS with assistance from Sydney technology entrepreneur Stan Baker. “This project illustrates how the research skills in Australia’s universities can be used in partnership with industry and government in grappling with the challenges of sustainable power and transport. In continuing research into PHEVs, the Institute for Sustainable Futures and the UTS Faculty of Engineering will be collaborating with a major Australian electric utility on integrating plug-in vehicles into the electricity grid.”

Connect with Autos.ca