CometBoy wrote:BigMouse I’m curious about why you think the Blade Vehicle should be supported from the tax payers’ dollar? Can you list your top ten reasons why? I ask this because I (like acmotor) have very mixed views about the Blade and want to be convinced it would be a good idea. After Mitsubishi and now Holden shutting up shop in Adelaide despite significant government support, I’m not so sure about subsidies. Don’t they just become a form of welfare?
1. EVs are unlikely to be accepted on a large scale in Australia without either some sort of government support (either on the supplier or consumer end)
2. An ongoing subsidy is not necessarily what I am suggesting. More likely some sort of start-up loan or grant similar to what Tesla Motors (and GM among others) received in the US. Something to be paid back, with interest.
3. If we don't support innovation and manufacturing in Australia, we'll be buying it from overseas like the Chinese Commodore.
4. The Blade is already a workable EV. Yes, it is a conversion/retrofit, but so was the Tesla Roadster.
5. BEV already has manufacturing authority from the RTA.
6. Ross has been responsive to technical issues (change from Azure Dynamics to Curtis controllers for example). I expect many of the customer support issues we've heard of have their origins in limited finances rather than simply poor service, though that's a hunch. I expect these issues would improve as the company grew.
7. Efforts are being made to improve the company even without government assistance. There were recently job postings for improvements in the website and marketing. He recently relocated to Sydney, though I'm not sure if it's for business or personal reasons.
8. Even as a small operation, BEVs are being offered at prices competitive with commercial offerings from Nissan and Mitsubishi.
9. As the company grows, there could be opportunities for new models (not using Hyundais anymore). This could result in support for other entities in Australia with interest in EVs, such as Tritium or Universities.
10. Starting a car company is beyond the means of any but the richest individuals in Australia. You may suggest that the solution then is to have the richest people support it rather than the government, but then BEV would suffer the same fate as other Australian manufacturers, ie. moving the business overseas to save costs.
I'm skeptical about BEV as well, and I leave it up to Ross to make the case to government (again), but I do hope they'll be a bit more open to the idea than past governments have. If his timing is right, the government may be eager to "save face" for losing Holden and Ford (and soon Toyota most likely). I certainly don't expect this will happen, considering how conservative the "liberal" government actually is, but I can hope.