The WA branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) is hosting its annual Electrikhana on the 7th of March at the Canning River Eco Education Centre (CREEC) on the banks of the Canning River.
Held in conjunction with the City of Canning’s Changing Your World conference and fair, Electrikhna is an opportunity for the public to come and learn about electric vehicle (EV) technology and push the pedals of the latest EVs on offer.
The name Electrikhana is a portmanteau combining ‘electric’ and ‘motorkhana’. Veteran West Australian EV enthusiast and owner of ZEVA, Ian Hooper is credited with coming up with the name which has stood the test of time.
“In 2010, EV Works was doing lots of electric car conversions, and we decided hold a test-drive day Driver Training circuit near Perth Airport. All of the vehicles on the day were vehicles we’d built; that was all we had back then,” Hooper says. The event wasn’t held the following year, but given its popularity the WA branch of AEVA decided to take on the event for 2012.
Each passing year saw interest in EVs grow. Scooters, e-bikes, and production EVs from Nissan and Mitsubishi, as well as the newly arrived Tesla Roadster. Converted cars still dominated the circuit though. Scores of home-built EVs celebrated their debut outings at Electrikhana.
The arrival of the Tesla Model S in early 2015 saw the volunteer-run event explode into a full-blown expo. The goal has always been to de-mystify the world of electric mobility by letting the public enjoy the EV Grin – the silly smile you get when you are silently pinned to the seat as you accelerate off down the road.
These events are always a challenge to organise, and it was usually left up to the organisers to pick up and demonstrate production EVs from dealerships. Indeed, so slim were the new EV pickings in 2018 that the branch skipped Electrikhana for the year.
But in 2019 a new venue, CREEC was provided by the City of Canning. The family friendly location has parklands, a café, and utilises public roads for folks to learn about new EVs. The Electrikhana concept is now being embraced around the country, with other AEVA branched holding similar events throughout the year.
The 2020 Perth Electrikhana will be a big one, with new models like the Tesla Model 3, the new Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Kona EV and the 38 kWh Ioniq available for test-drives.
Grey import retailers will also be present with affordable used EVs like the earlier Leaf, while electric bikes such as the Sur-Ron from Luna Mate and the Fonzarelli Arthur will be available for test-rides.
“Nothing changes minds like actually driving or riding an EV,” says Chris Jones, chair of the WA branch and national secretary of the association.
“We always see a spike in interest in EVs after every Electrikhana and this translates into new EV sales”.
“If you’re in the market for a new car and you haven’t considered an EV, you need to come to Electrikhana and explore your options,” says Jones.
The Perth Electrikhana is being held on Saturday the 7th of March as part of the Changing Your World Fair and Conference. Bookings can be made through the Elektrikhana website , or here or by emailing AEVA at [email protected] for more information.