Zero-emission chauffeur car service drives into South Australia
South Australia’s first zero-emission chauffeur service officially launched today, providing a fleet of electric cars to ferry passengers around the state without pollution or carbon emissions.
The myCar company uses Tesla, Mercedes and Lexus vehicles and will charge its cars on South Australia’s green grid, using the renewable power supplied by new electric car-charging infrastructure set up around Adelaide and across the state.
Users will be able to take advantage of 40 new electric charging points being rolled out by the Adelaide City Council, including a new Electric Vehicle Charging Hub on Franklin St containing four of the fastest electric car charging units available in Australia.
Longer regional trips will also be enabled by Tesla SuperCharger sites in Clare and Keith, allowing for fast charging of vehicles, and up to 60 Tesla Destination Charging sites at key regional tourism locations including the Adelaide Hills, wine regions, the Eyre Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.
The vehicles will be available for short-term hire, making them a perfect way to demonstrate to businesses their functional capability and commercial suitability. The new service builds on the State Government’s commitment to decarbonise the transport industry as Adelaide aims to become the first carbon neutral city.
Adelaide hotels have already signed up with myCar to offer its eco-friendly, quiet chauffeur service to guests. The Mayfair and the Hilton have already started using the service and the Stamford hotels have installed charging points on their grounds to enable use of the cars.
With emissions from transport contributing about 35 per cent of total emissions for the City of Adelaide – 90 per cent of that from private passenger cars – the State Government and the City of Adelaide are committed to providing incentives for using electric and low-emissions vehicles in the city.
myCar was established by the head of Infrastructure Finance Australia, Mark Harrington, whose global experience and passion for increasing the uptake of electric vehicles and software development in his home state of South Australia saw him look for a way to showcase the high technology and passenger comfort of modern electric vehicles.
Passengers can choose between chauffeur-driven luxury Mercedes S500 PHEV, Tesla X and S electric cars and Lexus hybrid vehicles.
The ability for locals and visitors to experience the vehicles on a short-term basis is expected help spur the uptake of low-emissions vehicles and help achieve the Carbon Neutral Adelaide aim of increasing the proportion of hybrid and electric vehicles to 15 per cent of new South Australian passenger vehicle registrations by 2021.
Environment Minister Ian Hunter said this is an excellent example of a new business that is seizing the opportunity that Adelaide is creating by paving the way for environment-friendly electric vehicles.
“It is exciting that entrepreneurs are stepping up to help us achieve our ambitions of making Adelaide the worlds’ first carbon-neutral city,” Mr Hunter said.
“Consumers are starting to demand more sustainable, low-carbon products and services, and I expect hotel guests, tourists and even those needing a car for a short-distance commute will appreciate the option of being driven in a myCar zero-emissions vehicle.
“By making electric vehicles available for more South Australians to experience, myCar will help spark the uptake of low emissions vehicles and help reduce transport emissions as we work to achieve a Carbon Neutral Adelaide.”
myCar founder Mark Harrington said his company is looking to the future, building on the foundations from the local automotive industry and accessing the best available technology internationally.
“We are passionate about the software development, electric and autonomous driving research we are doing with local universities and businesses,” Mr Harrington said.
“The availability of these cars will help demonstrate the functionality of electric cars to those corporate decision makers looking to upgrade their fleet to low-emissions vehicles, for their environmental benefits and to save on fuel costs.”