Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

Before we tell you about some great things our member councils are doing with electric vehicles, have a read of this letter the Climate Council wrote to the PM, ensuring him the Aussie weekend was not in danger, but alive and well with electric vehicles in our future. EVs can tow boats and caravans (or airplanes!), they can travel long distances (between 300-500 kms on a single charge), and they are increasingly affordable. Just setting the facts straight before we discuss councils and electric vehicle uptake 😊

A recent survey of our member councils shows they want Federal government support to really get cracking on widespread EV adoption in their areas. The overwhelming majority (95%) say that a national body or government support would help them to do more to kickstart the local EV revolution. This could be things like larger rollouts of charging infrastructure, bringing new car models into Australia to build EV council fleets, and helping to incentivise EV ownership through things like parking privileges or discounts and free or low cost charging at council-run charging stations.

Recently the Labor party announced its electric vehicle policy, which includes $100 million to support new charging station and an electric vehicle target of 50% of new purchases and leases of passenger vehicles for the government fleet. This is a great start! And it is doable and necessary if we want to being to curb our emissions in a meaningful way. Road-based transport in Australia accounts for more than 85% of greenhouse gas pollution.

Some councils and cities such as the ACT, Moreland Council in Victoria and Bundaberg Regional Council in Queensland are already doing their bit to kickstart EVs, including bulk buying electric vehicles for council fleet, installing charging infrastructure and working with other councils and state government to create EV “superhighways” for drivers, where you can be guaranteed to find a spot to charge your car.

Last month, our webinar on electrifying council fleets saw Dr David Alexander of the ACT Government and Stuart Nesbitt of Moreland City Council present on their tips for a smooth transition to EV fleets. The webinar also covered a new national Charge Together Fleets program. Have a read here all about this new plan that aims to assist fleet and sustainability managers transition to electric vehicles and future mobility models.

On a side note, and just to keep tabs on what other countries are doing, New Zealand has a target to reach 64,000 electric cars by 2021. New Zealand currently sells more electric vehicles than Australia, despite having a much smaller population. In Norway, 70 percent of passenger cars on the road are electric.