Battery purchase can be a prohibitive expense in buying or retrofitting an electric vehicle. Little Hartley's electric vehicle shop does conversions for $25,000. The significance of that is they make their own batteries using a lithium salt solution.
Behind this effort is Charles Daglish, a retired mechanic who got his inspiration from the electric vehicle industry in the UK. His electric sports car powered by battery, charged by solar is a snappy little model.
Progress is being made on electric vehicles in Australia. Melbourne City Council is voting on the installation of 12 electric vehicle charging points to make usage of electric vehicles an attractive and viable option.
Renault is going to be releasing an all-electric vehicle (the Fluence ZE) in 2012 that will be priced competitively with similar sized petrol hatchbacks. Better Place Australia has joined with Renault to start rolling out battery-swapping stations in Australia.
This means that battery purchase won't be part of the sticker price, but there will be a battery-lease arrangement that gives you freedom to swap batteries and keep driving. And of course the batteries will be charged with 100% renewable energy.
Beyond sustainable transport and renewable energy, there is "renewable transport", described as the integrated use of renewable energy, smart grids, and electric-drive vehicles (both private and public) for the decarbonisation of stationary energy and transport systems in our cities.
The electric car is certainly leading us into this era, though it not about the car. It is about the integrated system. Definitely the subject of another post.