Could Ballarat become an electric vehicle city?
Electric car ownership is becoming more accessible for the everyday driver with dropping prices, new models, extended range and more options to purchase second-hand.
The possibility of an increased uptake of electric scooters, motorcycles and bicycles in a regional city like Ballarat is also on the horizon.
Then there are options for electric public transport like buses and other modes of transport including aeroplanes and boats.
The future of electric vehicles in Australia and in Ballarat will be up for discussion during upcoming online events.
A free Smart Living Ballarat webinar exploring how to make the transition to electric and debunking myths and fears will be held next week.
We live off the grid where we are so I charge up from the sun and it is free travel.Steve Higgs, electric car owner
A nationwide Australian Electric Vehicle Association conference will be held online in November, sharing information on what technologies and options are available and why the transition is important.
Ballarat and region Australian Electric Vehicle Association branch chair Steve Carter said the conference would help people expand their knowledge on electric vehicles.
"It will give them more confidence about what is going to occur in the future because it is definitely here," he said.
Industry data shows electric vehicle sales in Australia more than tripled last year but were still far lower than in the majority of developed countries.
Electric vehicles are becoming the norm in many European countries, with electric car sales making up almost half of all car sales in Norway in the first half of 2020.
RELATED COVERAGE: Ballarat electric vehicle chargers open
Britain announced earlier this year it would ban new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars from 2035 and France announced an electric vehicle subsidy for private owners to jump-start the auto industry.
While federal government policy on electric vehicles in Australia is lacking, nearby Hepburn Shire Council took local leadership in March and launched an electric vehicle bulk-buy.
RELATED COVERAGE: The community continuing to move towards zero emissions
The Good Car Company is facilitating the bulk-buy by sourcing secondhand Nissan Leaf vehicles from Japan.
Community members in Buninyong are also working to encourage electric vehicles in their town, with the installation of an electric vehicle charging station in January.
Mr Carter said community groups from across Australia had been in touch with Buninyong Sustainability, the group that drove the installation of the charger, to hear about the lessons they learned through the process.
RELATED COVERAGE: Buninyong moves into its own electric motoring future
Australian Electric Vehicle Association member Steve Higgs drove his electric car into Buninyong from his home in She Oaks near Meredith on Wednesday.
He said he usually chose to shop at locations that had electric vehicle charging stations, like at Stockland in Wendouree.
Mr Higgs purchased his electric car about one year ago and said it was 'terrific' for country use because it had a petrol range extender that provided additional charge if needed.
"We live off the grid where we are so I charge up from the sun and it is free travel. It is just a delight to drive too. It is silent and easy to operate," he said.
Mr Carter has owned his electric bike for six years and said it was a great way to get around his home town of Buninyong.
He is currently working on converting a vintage car to electric.
Mr Carter said he thought Ballarat had great potential to cater for more electric motorcycles and scooters.
"They are everywhere in the European cities. They would be a compatible vehicle to have here and they are all electric," he said.
People can register for the free Smart Living Ballarat webinar Making Electric Cars Affordable at affordableev.eventbrite.com.au/.
The Good Car Company founder Anton Vikstrom will discuss how to transition to low emissions transport and talk about some of the myths and fears about electric vehicle ownership.
The Australian Electric Vehicle Association full day conference will be held on November 27.
Leading electric vehicle figures, businesses and transition support organisations from around the world will speak at the event, including a keynote speech from environmentalist Tim Flannery.
The conference will cover the vision, cars, freight transport, air, and water, buying a second-hand electric vehicle, electric vehicle conversions, charging and motorbikes and scooters.
Visit aeva.delegateconnect.co/ to register.