Friday, 18 October 2019 11:23

Flinders to sign MoU with electric vehicle company for local manufacture

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Flinders to sign MoU with electric vehicle company for local manufacture Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay

Flinders University and the ACE Electric Vehicle Group will sign a research agreement on Friday to collaborate on the development and construction of a flat pack electric vehicle in Australia.

A statement from the University said the German- and Taiwanese-backed ACE-EV had launched a small, modern electric van in Australia and was intent on boosting local content in both design and manufacture.

Professor John Spoehr, the director of Flinders University’s Australian Industrial Transformation Institute, said this was an important step in the revival of Australia's automotive industry.

"The MoU seeks to harness Flinders’ R&D expertise in support of the manufacture of this EV under licence here in Australia," he said.

“We’re seeing a seismic shift in the global automotive industry to vastly different vehicles. Currently the van’s components are sourced from multiple places, but assembly can occur in destination markets provided the necessary manufacturing skills base is present.

ace van

The electric van made by ACE. Supplied

“In Australia’s case, this is a phoenix prospect, where a new era of automotive technology could rise from the ashes of the former industry and re-establish a fresh generation of evolved electric vehicles in Australia.

“Flinders will bring its research expertise to a range of potential applications, from 3D manufacturing of components and development of futuristic composite materials to onboard vehicles systems and advanced i4.0 manufacturing assembly processes."

Professor Spoehr said the van was made of composite materials which meant it was lightweight and efficient.

"It’s essentially stuck together with space age adhesives rather than the traditional nuts, bolts and rivets. And being electric is energy efficient, especially if recharged with renewables. Fewer moving parts mean less maintenance too," he pointed out.

“Flinders’ Tonsley Manufacturing Innovation Hub is ideally placed for R&D support to develop advanced manufacturing assembly processes, like collaborative robots."

ACE-EV Group managing director Greg McGarvie said: “We are focused on building and extending the nation’s EV capability so that Australia can take a leading role in the global transition to low emission transport and create jobs for the future.

“This international agreement not only unites R&D facilities in Stuttgart and Ningbo with Flinders University, but now allows our Adelaide-based company ACE Electric Vehicle to set up a specialist design studio for Composite Electric Vehicles.

“It will ensure Australia accelerates opportunities in electric vehicle and charging equipment assembly, component manufacture, design, engineering, and research. As a result, South Australia will soon have a significant R&D centre at Tonsley Innovation District sharing advanced technology research with ACE-EV Groups partners in Stuttgart and Ningbo."

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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