A proposed EV Hub in Darebin
needs your support!

Fitting electric motors into petrol and diesel vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) are clearly the way of the future, playing an important role in the move to zero carbon emissions. But as we shift to EVs, surely we can reuse all those perfectly good petrol car bodies? Some metals can be recycled, but upholstery and plastics will end up in landfill, releasing toxic chemicals. And shouldn’t EVs be affordable for everyone?

Craig Bishop is converting an old Subaru Forester
Craig Bishop is converting an old Subaru Forester

Mechanic and innovator Craig Bishop, owner of Evolution Automotive, has found answers. He is successfully and cheaply installing electric motors and batteries into petrol and diesel vehicles and continuously testing/refining the process, even with motors from old hybrid vehicles, with help from an electronics engineer. He sees this as a viable way for lower-income people to get an EV and avoid all the waste and pollution resulting from ditching their old car. He is working with Melbourne University and has received expressions of interest/support from RMIT, Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, and Australian Electric Vehicles Association. And he has plans for further expansion later on – see below.

This is an exciting, innovative opportunity for Darebin to show leadership on the climate emergency. But for it to take off, Craig needs the security of being able to stay at his current premises at the former Melbourne Innovation Centre in Alphington, which is owned by Darebin Council. Help is urgently needed as Craig’s lease expires at the end of April — please see below how you can get involved.

Benefits to Darebin Council and community

The EV Hub proposal fits with many Council policies and objectives as outlined in the 2021-25 Council Plan, Climate Emergency Plan, EV policy, and Darebin Transport Strategy 2007-2027:

  • “facilitate the community uptake and ownership of electric vehicles”
  • “leverage investment, partnerships and advocacy”
  • “adapt to climate change and build the resilience of our community, infrastructure and the built environment, with a focus on our vulnerable communities at risk of fuel poverty”
  • “build an inclusive and empowered community”
  • “ensure our assets are optimised for the benefit of our community”

Future expansion

The project could expand to include:

  • Servicing community and council EVs
  • Support for Council’s fleet transition to EVs
  • Site for EV expo days
  • E-bike sharing, charging & pickup point
  • Fitting EVs with solar panels to roof and sides
  • Secure undercover rapid EV charging stations

Why this site?

  • Synergies with other environmentally progressive businesses on the site
  • Proximity to the Village Power community battery
  • Proximity to Alphington Station and bus terminal
  • Craig has worked here since 1999 as an anchor tenant solving problems for local businesses, Council and community.

What’s the problem?

Council officers have rejected Craig’s proposal for a second time. We don’t know why, given the huge public benefit. They say the reasons are confidential, but relate to the new zoning, which is PUZ 6 (Public Use Zone). Craig has been told that he must vacate the premises by 30 April, and that this is non-negotiable.
We’re calling for a full and open review.

How can you help resolve it?

  • Spread the word among friends & community groups
  • Raise the matter with your Darebin councillor
  • Join DCAN’s dedicated support group – email us at [email protected]
  • Sign the petition at Wingrove Milk Bar, 50 Wingrove St, Alphington – or online at https://chng.it/wgNL8QPmnB

Petition QR code
Petition QR code

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