The cars may have been silent but the conference participants and visitors certainly weren’t, as they turned up in droves to test drive, discuss and learn about the latest offerings for Zero Emission Vehicles and technology at the Driver Risk Management Centre at Perth Airport.
Aptly falling on State Budget day, and declared open by Minister Dave Kelly (Minister for Jobs, Technology, Science & Innovation), the inaugural conference aimed to educate West Australians about the benefits and capabilities of Zero Emission Vehicles, ranging from scooters, bikes and cars, to buses, trucks, mining vehicles, planes and boats, and the Gemtek Racing FIA world first Targa South West class winning electric race car.
Hosted by West Australian Energy technology company Gemtek Group, and with a line-up of supporting organisations, exhibitors, industry thought leaders and sponsors led by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, the overwhelming response to “iDrive WA: Towards Zero Emissions” proves that there is strong demand for Zero Emissions transport options. The event will now become an annual feature on the Perth business events calendar.
Combining with the Hydrogen Society of Western Australia the conference demonstrated and featured discussion panels and presentations about a wide range of vehicles, including both Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), infrastructure and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), as well as topics like Industry Education, Tourism, Infrastructure, Motorsport, Integrated Urban Transport Planning, Public Transport, Mining, Government Policy and Transition Strategies.
Discussions included City Mayors leading local council transitions, training bodies such as Scitech, MTAWA, NECA, TAFE and universities providing school, vocational and tertiary STEM units technology courses, and government policy driving and supporting transport & energy transition in Western Australia.
Attracting global interest from speakers such as Lucas Di Grassi (Formula E Champion and CEO of Roborace), Richard Hatter (Greater China Hotels General Manager of the Year 2018, Hotel ICON Hong Kong), Matt Porter (Head of eMobility, Shell Global Retail) and Fraser Crichton (Dundee City Council Fleet Transition Manager – World Sustainable Transport City of the Year), the event brought together some of Perth and Australia’s key technology providers, as well as policy and decision makers.
With a budget surplus of $1.2 billion forecast by Treasurer Ben Wyatt this week, and a mining sector focused on improving the carbon footprint of export minerals by building clean energy infrastructure to meet global minerals sourcing requirements, this spells a new era of opportunity for transport in Western Australia, with strong industry and government support to make it a reality within the next decade.