top of page

Narrabri's First Electric Vehicle - 50 years ago!

Updated: Jul 22, 2022

Exactly 50 years ago to the day of our "Electric Vehicles On Show" event (RSVP here), Narrabri had its very first Electric Vehicle! Can you believe it?!!

Thanks to a gorgeous email we received from Margaret Hurle (now resident of Manilla), that alerted us to this.

Margaret said

"It’s fitting that you are promoting EVs in Narrabri. Did you know that Narrabri was the first town in the region to have an EV? In 1972 during the fuel shortage caused by the oil crisis, Namoi Valley County Council bought a converted Suzuki van that ran on batteries. It was a real curiosity at the time, and the aim was to use it for short trips around the town. I was working at The Courier (local newspaper), and I got to drive it when it arrived. It was smooth, silent and slow, with a gear shift of a type which was operated by a lever between my knees. The back of the van was full of conventional car batteries."

By doing some digging we found the original article in The Courier newspaper. A classic line from the article:

"There is no roaring, petrol-swigging, carbon monoxide-exhaling internal combustion motor under its square, stubby lines."

Also from the article, a view to the future:

"The electric delivery van is already well accepted by bakers and milkmen in London, and manufacturers see an expanding future for it, particularly in the face of evidence that most city smog is caused by car exhausts."

On Wednesday 27 July from 10am - 12pm Geni.Energy will host half a dozen Electric Vehicles at its "EV on Show" (RSVP here). Locals are invited to come along and look at the EVs and talk to the owners. We are hosting this because we thought EV's were a new concept!! However, 50 years ago they were considered a new idea!

In today's world we also face a fuel shortage, with prices souring, so people are again looking to the electric vehicles to save money. Here is the first page of the article from 27 July 1972.

The price of running an Electric Vehicle today is a fraction of the cost of an internal combustion vehicle (see more details in the Help Sheet below) and that is a huge motivation for many new EV owners.

What did this look like 50years ago? From the article:

"The retail price of a new vehicle is $3,450 without tax, but the long life expectance and low running costs offset this."

It is also fascinating to see what the future looked like 50 years ago and we get a view from the last paragraph:

"So, after a short burst early this century, when the electric car competed with the internal combustion car, it looks as if the quiet gliders are making a comeback. A start has been made in Narrabri anyway."

If you would like to know a little more about EV's, check out our Help Sheet below.

Help Sheet EV version 3
Download PDF • 136KB

125 views0 comments


bottom of page