Electric vehicle startup ACE-EV is hatching a plan to make electric vehicles in South Australia, in a deal that will see it partner with an Adelaide-based company to make its all-electric, light commercial vehicles.
The deal, which is due to be signed on Monday, will, “signal the start of EV manufacturing in South Australia,” ACE-EV chief Greg McGarvie tells The Driven.
The partnering company, who cannot yet be named before the formal announcement, “has long experience in assembly area and innovation,” McGarvie says.
The deal will secure an experienced team to make its range of all-electric vehicles, the first of which was assembled in March and unveiled at the Smart Energy Expo in Sydney.
“It’s a dynamic company and producing a product in Australia already that’s accepted in the racing industry and other areas. Basically the last part of the jigsaw is being put in place in terms of a facility where we can manufacture.”
ACE-EV, which has been developing its cargo, ute and passenger EVs in partnership with German and Taiwanese engineers, has an exclusive deal for the manufacture and distribution of the right-hand drive versions of the vehicles.
With the manufacturing deal almost in place, that deal will see ACE-EV able to capture RHD markets from the UK to Hong Kong, New Zealand and further afield.
In addition to the creation of a manufacturing industry in South Australia, McGarvie says ACE-EV will create a research facility in Australia for electric motors, battery management systems and software ecosystems.
McGarvie believes that a Labor government – whose electric vehicle policy includes a 50 per cent share of new vehicle sales by 2030 and a $57 million fund to kickstart research and development of EV technology in Australia – will foster an exciting future for an Australian EV industry.
“Australia’s got so many clever people here…[and] we’re just very lucky that we’ve secured this for Australia because the quality of the German partners and Taiwanese partners just bring so much opportunity.”
In addition to the cleverly design but European-influenced “Cargo”, “Yewt” and “Urban” vehicles, McGarvie says ACE-EV has not only a sportcar planned but also wants to design something with an Australia slant.
“At the moment … the design genetics of our vehicles come from Swiss and German designers and they’re a nice little car with personality but down the track we’ll move with the times,” he says, declining to confirm just yet if that means something “for the weekend”.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.