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Electric Tomcar makes public debut in Melbourne

Out of the dark: Tomcar’s tough LV1 pure-electric mine support vehicle has gone under the spotlight at Melbourne’s premiere mining and resources expo.

Tomcar silently rolls out LV1 at International Mining and Resource Conference

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Tomcar logo8 Nov 2016

By DANIEL GARDNER

TOMCAR’S zero-emissions LV1 all-terrain vehicle has made its first public appearance at the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) in Melbourne where Australia’s first series-production electric car goes into production at the company’s scalable manufacturing facility early next year.

Various large mining companies have been showing interest since its announcement earlier this year.

With assistance from the Victorian government, the prototype was shipped to the Melbourne show from a remote News South Wales mining site where it is being tested, and where it is to be returned for final testing.

The LV1 was chalked to be launched earlier than March 2017, but thanks to Tomcar’s agnostic approach to battery and EV technology, the launch was postponed to allow a design update to extend range and performance.

Speaking to GoAuto, Tomcar Australia co-founder and CEO David Brim said the latest version was a more accomplished vehicle, but improvements to battery efficiency and capacity had increased the original $75,000 asking price.

“We’ve pushed it back a couple of months mainly due to some exciting opportunity which is slightly more complicated,” he said. “We’ve improved the battery technology and the range so we are pushing over $100,000 now.”

A $100,000 ticket price may sound a little steep for the compact all-terrain vehicle, but Mr Brim pointed out that the price includes a number of specialised features specifically for the challenging mining industry such as air-conditioning and extra instrumentation.

He said a more accessible consumer version would be offered eventually.

“Our core focus in the short to medium term is the mining EV and the military spec EV, but ultimately we do want to have a consumer range of EVs for the agricultural community.”

Mr Brim confirmed that the go-anywhere EVs will be offered to mining customers with a choice of charging infrastructure packages to best suit the application.

According to the client’s requirements, battery and charge stations can be customised for fast or trickle charging using direct or alternating current.

“We are working very closely with them and offering a variety of charging and battery options: two or three combination packages. It’s going to be part of the package,” he said.

“We’re talking to all the big blue chip companies in Australia, mainly for some of their overseas mine sites, and it’s been a fascinating conversation with them because an EV is a new ecosystem and learning curve for them.”

Mr Brim did not reveal those companies or the number of vehicles being considered, but said initial production would roll out four mining-spec LV1s a month before increasing to eight a month by the end of 2017.

Local industrial customers will be offered a lease option, while overseas customers are likely to be offered the electric Tomcar for purchase only.

The LV1’s battery is liquid cooled, allowing fast charging, high performance and increased durability in hot climates.

Other new features include cloud-based service log books, remote fleet management by either Tomcar or the customer and preventative maintenance packages.

In addition to the specialised LV1, Tomcar offers a range of lightweight but robust all-terrain vehicles including petrol and diesel powered versions starting from $28,000 for the Raw, all of which are constructed in Australia with more than 60 per cent of locally sourced components.

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