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Green Zone - Driving the future

26 Oct 2010

Green Zone - Driving the future Image

By Peter Crowley

On October 5, I had the unique experience of driving one of the greenest cars in Australia past one of the nation’s greenest buildings.  

As a participant in the Melbourne Green Zone program I booked in to drive a fully electric, emission-free car around a Docklands circuit that took me along Bourke St and past eminent green buildings like The Gauge and the restored Goods Shed.

The all-electric car was great – whisper quiet, super-easy to drive, yet nimble and sprightly and well suited to the inner city.  

But the circuit, which took me from outside the Queens Warehouse, around Collins and Merchant streets to Bourke, and then via Wurundjeri Way back to the starting point, passed through eight sets of traffic lights, one roundabout, and involved two crossings of tram tracks and six crossings of bike paths – all in a circuit that would be lucky to be 1500 metres long.

Afterwards, whilst very satisfied with the driving experience, I couldn’t help but make this sombre reflection – I was driving a car engineered to address the future through a suburb with similar aspirations but which, when

it comes to local transport movement, was struggling to deliver.  

To reduce local congestion and take advantage of unique local character, it is time to de-clutter local streets and consider connecting the corners of the precinct with electric shuttle buses and water transport options.

Nevertheless, the Green Zone program gave users an important opportunity to experience fuel-efficient vehicle options that show the way to a greener driving future.

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