Westpac’s new Electric Vehicle fleet

Westpac’s new Electric Vehicle fleet


Towards the end of 2016, the Westpac CEO made a
commitment to transition 30% of the fleet to EVs by the end of 2019. That’s
almost 100 vehicles for Westpac and we’re going to fulfill that commitment
by rolling out a mix of the fully electric BEVs and the Plug-In Hybrid
versions. The difference between a normal car and an EV really start to become
evident when you start to actually drive it. I find a little bit magical, the noise
that it makes which is this really low sort of whirring noise which feels very
sort of Star Wars-esque to me. With the car comes a 3-pin charger that just plugs
into any normal household power point. It’s pretty slow but it’s designed to be
an overnight method of charging. Westpac’s also rolling out a number of chargers at
eight of our corporate sites. It has a system called the VESS, the Vehicle
Engine Sound System, and that’s a pedestrian safety aid so that at
low speed it will make an artificial noise to make sure the pedestrians
around can actually hear you coming. On top of that it has regenerative braking.
What that does is it uses the force of you coasting to then add power back to the
battery instead of wasting the energy that you would when coasting, it
harnesses that energy and then puts that energy back into the battery to give you
more range. Autonomous emergency braking – so that means that if say you’ve taken
your eyes off the road for a second in peak hour traffic, and the person in front of you
slams on their brakes, the car senses that and brakes for you.
So its also got Lane Keep Assist where if you’re driving at speeds over 50kms
an hour, it senses the road markings. It basically keeps you between the
lines. Adaptive Cruise Control – you set
the speed that you want to go, and if the car in front of you starts going slower than that, it will maintain a safe
distance between you and that car by moderating your speed. It’s like the combination of all of these sort of features makes the pilot seat a really
pleasant place to be.

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