ACT News


Plug in for the planet's future

WHISPER-QUIET motors replaced the usual revving engines, and car enthusiasts mingled with environmentalists and green energy advocates.

The Canberra International Electric Vehicle Festival was a car show with a difference.

John Efkarpidis's orange Tesla Roadster Sport drew plenty of attention from admiring onlookers.

Not surprising, seeing that this car costs a hefty $300,000 or so.

''I think it's about time we started looking after our planet. This is one way of doing it,'' he said.

One of only about 10 of its kind in Australia, the Googong man had his sports car custom made in the United States and Britain.


The car is fully electric, its batteries last for about 400 kilometres, and it can go from zero to 100km/h in 3.7 seconds, according to Mr Efkarpidis.

Despite the cost, Mr Efkarpidis said as soon as his went for a test drive in one he fell in love with the car.

The car's batteries could be recharged in about 24 hours using a standard powerpoint, or in four hours using a specialised super charger.

He hoped there would soon be public recharge stations so he could drive longer distances.

Festival organiser Mishka Talent said that when the festival started four years ago, it was difficult to buy electric cars. Hence the focus of the event was at first on people who had converted their own vehicles from petrol to electric power.

Since that time electric vehicles have become widely available commercially, so on Saturday they too were included in the festival.

Mr Talent, the proud owner of a converted electric 1971 Beetle, said he first became interested in electric vehicles because they were environmentally friendly, but then found he just enjoyed the driving experience.

''There's no such thing as renewable petrol, so if you want to reduce your emissions then you've got to go electric and charge with green power or some sort of renewable energy.

''Once you start driving them, though, they're just a much nicer car to drive, they're a great little zippy car for around town,'' he said.