Researchers at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Institute for Sustainable Futures and Faculty of Engineering are being funded by Szencorp to create Australia’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The vehicle is to be used at Szencorp’s green headquarters in Melbourne and could be ready as soon as May 2008.ISF Research Consultant Josh Usher said a Toyota Prius purchased by UTS would have a very safe and lightweight auxiliary lithium iron phosphate battery fitted to it which could be charged using renewable energy from the grid.
This will effectively render the vehicle carbon neutral for commuting. The vehicle will be able to run on electricity for over 32 km which is the average daily commute for Sydney workers – the highest average in the country.
Szencorp plans to plug the PHEV into its headquarters at 40 Albert Road, South Melbourne which remains the highest rated green building in Australia.