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ACE EV chases cash injection

Calling investors: ACE EV’s all-electric Cargo van is scheduled to go into production in 2020, but the partners behind the small Australian company say they have “done our dash in terms of money” and need more investors to proceed to production.

Electric vehicle start-up ACE EV seeking $5 million investment to carry on

21 Aug 2019

AUSTRALIAN electric vehicle start-up Australian Clean Energy Electric Vehicle Group (ACE EV) has made a pitch for $5 million in investment to take the fledgling operation to the production stage next year.


Wheeling out the first locally assembled ACE EV Cargo van to potential fleet buyers in Adelaide this week, ACE EV managing director Greg McGarvie told Channel 7 that he and his partner had tipped more than $1 million into the project.


“We have just about done our dash in terms of money and we are looking for some good investors to take this on,” he said. “This is an amazing opportunity. We have overseas investors but we would really prefer to see Australian.”


The company earlier this year engaged Adelaide-based commercial vehicle body builder Aldom to assemble the vehicles that essentially arrive in a flat pack of six boxes of parts from China and Taiwan.


ACE EV is seeking 100 firm orders from companies and government fleets this year before going into series production in the first half of 2020.


Potential customers were shown the Cargo prototype on Tuesday at ACE EV’s facility at the former Mitsubishi factory at Tonsley Park, south of Adelaide.


Powered by a 45kW/174Nm electric motor drawing power from a 23.2kWh lithium-ion battery, the Cargo is claimed to have a 500kg load capacity and be able to travel between 150km and 200km when partially loaded. Recharging is said to take less than eight hours on a household 240-volt socket.


The carbon-fibre chassis comes in 17 parts, while the body has 78 components. Assembly is said to take 18 hours, with body parts “chemically welded” (glued) together.


So far, the only locally sourced components are the wheels, but ACE EV says it wants to increase the local content to 50 per cent, including labour.


Mr McGarvie defended the safety credentials of the Cargo, saying the vehicle was German designed and had been designed to European standards.


“They have NCAP over there,” he said, adding that his company intended to get an Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rating.


“We don’t see any difficulty there,” he said.


The comments brought a swift rejoinder from ANCAP which accused ACE EV of making incorrect safety claims (see separate story).


ACE EV’s model roll-out plan includes a ute version of the Cargo, the Yewt, and a city runabout, the Urban, with a combined annual production run of 15,000 units by 2025.


A passenger vehicle dubbed Sportz is also on the drawing board. It would be powered by a 40kWh battery pack to deliver a target range of 600km.


Aldon said earlier this year that it would hire 15-20 new staff members for the ACE assembly facility that, initially, would be in an existing factory.


He said that once production reaches 10 cars a week, a new facility would be developed.


ACE EV says it has the global right-hand-drive vehicle franchise rights.

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