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Melbourne goes green

In the Green Zone: Ford's Fiesta ECOnetic and Volvo's C30 DRIVe will be two vehicles featured at the Green Zone expo.

Australia hosts world-first low-emission vehicle expo to promote consumer education

General News logo31 Aug 2010

MELBOURNE will host what is claimed to be the world’s first public awareness expo on low-emissions vehicles early next month.

The Green Zone test drive event will give consumers the chance to experience current-generation and near-future LEVs first-hand.

The innovative education program will be held in the new extended part of Collins Street at the city’s Docklands development area for one week from October 2-8.

Organisers hope the Green Zone event concept will be picked up in other major centres across the world in the future.

Staged by the RACV and the LEV Automotive Partnership – with support from the Victorian transport department, the Victorian EPA, the Global Fuel Efficiency Initiative 50BY50 program and the Australian Conservation Foundation – it was devised to highlight the growing world of LEV motoring.

“Increased awareness of climate change issues has prompted a thirst for information on low-emission vehicles from the general public, but as yet there has been no single, independent body from which this information can be sourced,” said event spokesman Simon Mikedis, the RACV’s manager of environmental programs.

 center imageLeft: Green Zone logo. Below: RACV's Simon Mikedis and Future Climate Australia's Henry O'Cleary.

“By creating the Green Zone event in the heart of Melbourne, and inviting car manufacturers and importers to show off their latest low-emission vehicles, we are able to offer Victorian motorists the chance to get behind the wheel of the lowest emitting cars in Australia.

“It is important to note that this is a real-world event. The cars that are being test-driven can actually be bought right now. They are not over-the-horizon dream cars, but commercially available.

“It is very important that the public gets the opportunity to see close-up exactly how much choice there is in the market. ‘Green’ options are available in a wide range of market segments, from luxury cars to Compact SUVs to city commuters, even full electric vehicles.”

Green Zone promises at least 10 different vehicles will be available on each day of the event, and will involve a special route through the Docklands precinct.

Among the models on display will be Australia’s first modern purely electric vehicle, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, as well as a host of diesel and hybrid models.

Other vehicles involved in the expo are the Audi A4 2.0 TDIe, A4 2.0 TDI and A5 3.0 TDI Sportback, BMW X1 sDrive20d and 320d sedan, Citroen C5 2.0 HDI and C4 Grand Picasso HDI, Ford Fiesta ECOnetic and Mondeo TDCi, Hyundai i20 Active and Santa Fe 2.2 CRDI, Mini Cooper Diesel, Mitsubishi ASX, Toyota Prius and Hybrid Camry and the Volvo C30 DRIVe.

Test drives can be made in advance at the greenzonedrive.com.au website.

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