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Preparing for the future: Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are here.  With some two million EVs already on the roads worldwide, they are increasingly becoming part of the discussion regarding Australia’s transportation.

Whether EVs will be as dramatic a change as the Model T was to the horse and cart is still yet to be determined.  What is clear is that the rise of both EVs along with hybrid technologies, in combination with increased vehicle autonomy, will shape the way we plan for transport within our cities and towns.

Like everything we do at Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE), we’re looking at ways we can counter that issue now – rather than waiting for the population to demand a solution.  It’s a significant reason behind why we recently introduced our new Transportation Engineering team out of Melbourne.

“At the moment the uptake of EVs is modest, owing to price considerations, range and recharging infrastructure,” Senior Transportation Engineer David Trotter said.

“It’s hard to say exactly when the uptake of EVs will begin to become part of the mainstream conversation, but what we do know is that when it does we want our cities and towns to have the flexibility to respond to the changes that this brings.

“WGE is working with clients across multiple disciplines to provide flexibility and ‘future proof’ developments to respond to increasing uptake of EVs.  From a practical perspective, we’re actioning items such as installing EV share points, pre-planning infrastructure elements such as three phase electric power/wiring to enable charge points to be installed at a later date, as well as advocating for the inclusion of EV share points in future developments.”

Federal Minister for Energy and the Environment, Josh Frydenberg MP, is predicting as many as one million EVs on Australian roads by 2030, with the biggest surge happening in the next seven years*.

As such, it’s easy to understand the demand for infrastructure will come fast and hard as the EV population grows.

“EVs in Australia are currently the domain of innovators and early adopters,” David said.

“Last year, Volvo was the first major car manufacturer to announce that it will stop producing cars and SUVs powered solely by internal combustion engines from 2019. With these sort of announcements and technological advancements over time we will continue to see an increase in the adoption of hybrid and electric vehicles.

“The key thing is to recognise emerging market trends in this space and to work with clients to best meet their expectations and that of motorists.”

As a multi-disciplinary engineering firm, WGE can provide a one-stop shop.  The Transportation team works closely in collaboration with other disciplinary teams within the organisation, to provide the best solution for our clients.

WGE’s Transportation services increase and improve the understanding of development impacts of existing and proposed road networks, particularly how those networks are safely engaging with the community.  Headed up by Section Manager James Brownlie, the team oversees the functional design, operation and management of transportation facilities.

We chatted to James recently to explain what Transportation Engineering means, and how it benefits the community – see below.

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