A Victorian vehicle manufacturing start-up aiming to produce the first Australian-made electric vehicles has been given a kick-start thanks to a new funding initiative by CSIRO.
CSIRO Kick-Start is an initiative that offers dollar-matched funding of up to $50,000 to enable research projects for start-ups and small businesses that are on their way to becoming Australian success stories.
Tomcar Australia are just one of the first six businesses to receive the funding, which the company is using for feasibility research into electrification of its modified off-grid, off-road vehicles with CSIRO’s manufacturing team.
The work will provide an integrated systems solution tailored to Tomcar’s vehicles, building on CSIRO’s electric motors expertise.
Following the feasibility testing, Tomcar plans to continue its collaboration with CSIRO in the development of prototypes and full production of Australia’s first electric vehicle, forecasted for a 2018 launch.
“We pride ourselves on being a disruptive vehicle manufacturer, and being able to partner with Australia’s research institutes to access engineering capabilities and expertise that we wouldn’t normally have access to is what’s helping us achieve that,” said Tomcar co-founder and CEO David Brim.
“CSIRO’s Kick-Start program has taken away the financial burdens that would have prohibited us from taking this next step.”
Keith McLean, manufacturing director at CSIRO said Australian start-ups and SMEs were critical in driving Australia’s innovation output.
The Kick-Start initiative boosts CSIRO’s existing support for SMEs and small businesses, now offering funding and linkage solutions to all Australian businesses with a turnover up to $100 million to undertake research projects that will help these businesses develop and grow.