“We recognise how vital innovation is to business – and this is a great opportunity for thinking forward together as a part of the business community, inspiring innovation and ultimately helping to boost the local economy,” Executive General Manager Customer Service and key representative for Ergon at the conference Peter Billing said. 

Ergon’s contribution helped to bring renowned social commentator Bernard Salt to the event to share his insights with the tourism industry and other business leaders.

Following Bernard Salt, Tourism Tropical North Queensland assembled an outstanding group of diverse speakers including Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki, as the keynote innovation motivational speech, and media personality James O’Loghlin, performing the MC duties and moderating a business panel discussion.

Ergon also used the opportunity at the Cairns Innovation Conference to showcase just one example of its support of innovative technologies via a recently Ergon-branded Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV electric hybrid vehicle that has been added to Ergon’s Far North Queensland fleet.

Ergon Energy and Mitsubishi Motors Australia announced a partnership earlier this year that saw eight electric vehicles (EVs) join the regional electricity distributor’s passenger fleet.

Mitsubishi PHEV 

The company also made a lease offer available to employees that has so far seen 15 staff take on their own Mitsubishi PHEVs for private use.

“Ergon Energy, as a forward thinking electricity distributor believes that wider adoption of EVs will happen,” Ergon Chief Executive Ian McLeod said, “This is a journey to which we are committed, and we’re very excited to be now firmly in the driver’s seat as well.”

Mr McLeod said the agreement between Mitsubishi Motors and Ergon Energy underscored Ergon’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and embrace emerging technologies.

The plug in hybrids added to Ergon’s fleet will be based in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Mackay, Maryborough and Toowoomba.

Innovation and forward thinking will underpin the future of energy and electricity networks according to Ergon.

“As an electricity distribution utility that services 97 per cent of that state we see a logical connection between operating EVs and the power we reliably and safely provide to customers each and every day,” Mr McLeod said.   

 “This is the future. We are witnessing how advances in battery technology and automobile design are increasingly resulting in more environmentally friendly, affordable and efficient options for road users in regional Queensland,” he said.

See the Innovation Conference website for more on the conference.