Car-share service, GoGet, is a blessing for car-less city folk in need of some wheels. Now those city slickers in Melbourne are about to get a boost to their green credentials, as GoGet adds Toyota plug-in hybrids to its fleet. This is so great I can't begin to describe it.
The idea is simple: GoGet lets you sign-up with an account, put down a deposit (in some cases) and you look up on your phone or on the website where the nearest car is. Clock onto that car, jump in, do your driving then put it back in the dedicated car share spaces. Your account is then debited the time you used the car.
GoGet adding electric cars is great because electric cars are great, and it allows both GoGet and its partners in Melbourne state and local governments to study the use cases and potential benefits of electric vehicles in cities.
So why is it so good?
Well, for a long time, Australia has lagged behind in the adoption of electric cars, and local, state and Federal governments have let us down when it comes to charging infrastructure around the nation.
I'm not expecting a government to roll-out a national supercharger network like Tesla in the US -- Kevin Rudd is no Elon Musk -- but some sort of assistance to those purchasing electric cars or companies looking to sell more of them in Australia would be stellar.
Even if a few forward thinking local councillors decided to spend some cash on charging stations in town and city centres to get the ball rolling, we'd be better off than we ever had been.
When we road-tested the Holden Volt electric car a few months ago, one of the things we were most disgusted with was the serious lack of charging infrastructure on offer. Not just from Holden, but from everyone. Private charging stations were either broken, inactive or not built yet, and not a single City of Sydney charging point could be found. Capital cities support car share spaces for services like GoGet, but nobody is thinking of the people who actually want to buy EVs to benefit the environment yet.
This GoGet EV trial in Melbourne is great because the company has the ear of government at a state and local level, and the word can be spread around the nation from there. It's great news. Hopefully more governments meet private industry half-way with EV infrastructure.