Bendigo-born manufacturer Safescape is charging its batteries amid an ambitious new project.
Founded in 2010, Safescape is setting up an electric vehicle production facility in Bendigo.
A designer, manufacturer and supplier of safety products to the mining industry, Safescape is developing an electric vehicle platform to counter challenges faced by the industry.
The cost of running light vehicles, in terms of care and maintenance and vehicle replacement are one of those challenges.
An appeal of electric vehicles is that they mitigate the adverse health effects of diesel particulates within underground mines.
"The body and chassis of the electric vehicle are sourced from our vehicle partner based in Brazil," Safescape general manager Allison Deadman said.
"The body is completely galvanised and the chassis is fully sealed in order to avoid succumbing to intense corrosion, which is common in light vehicles on mine sites," Ms Deadman said.
Safescape has already developed a highly successful prototype vehicle that has been trialled on mine sites across Australia.
"The first trial was completed at Fosterville with the support of their on site team," Ms Deadman said.
"The success of the prototype has led us to start development of the first phase of production, which we have called the beta phase."
Safescape has received $200,000 from the Federal Government's Automatic Innovation Lab Access Grant scheme to help fund its beta phase.
Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the grant was one of 17 awarded nationwide.
"This is great news for the Bendigo economy as we work together in the post-COVID recovery period," Senator Henderson said.
"Innovation and testing new ideas are hallmarks of Australia's advanced manufacturing sector and this sort of Aussie ingenuity is vital to growing our economy and creating jobs."
The beta phase will see Safescape produce 10 vehicles, all of which will be leased to its mining customers.
Safescape is now in the process of setting up its electric vehicle production facility in Bendigo.
"The government's grant will provide valuable assistance in a few key areas, including the purchasing of production equipment and hiring of specialised staff," Ms Deadman said.
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