Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

What’s all the electric vehicle fuss?

Did you know transport is Australia’s THIRD largest source of greenhouse gas pollution, contributing to almost 20 percent of our total emissions? To mitigate climate change, along with many other actions, it’s evident that Australia must introduce a fleet of sustainable transport solutions, toot suite!

The statistics show nearly 8 out of 10 Australians travel to work, school or university by car (ABS 2016). This is why we joined the City of Canterbury-Bankstown, CSIRO and many other fleet buyers to test drive electric vehicles (EV) at Eastern Creek, NSW. Hosted by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Transport for New South Wales, the day was held in the hope that the demonstrated case studies and test drives would inspire others to join the EV revolution, paving the way to a zero-carbon emissions future.

EV Test Drive Day

Despite the shabby weather, spirits were high on the famous Eastern Creek Raceway in late June. Helene Forsythe, Coordinator Environment and Education for the City of Canterbury-Bankstown drove Sonya Williams our Cities Power Partnership Funding Coordinator to the track in council’s new electric Hyundai Ioniq. The drive was a smooth experience at, unsurprisingly, a very peaceful decibel. Waiting on the track were 20 electric vehicles available for test driving (see model list below), one of them even being a truck.

Over one hundred fleet buyers were present on the day, with about one third of these from local government, many of them our very own Cities Power Partnership members. Reasons varied amongst those that attended on the day, from checking out the new technology, to supporting customer desires through to transitioning to cleaner forms of transport. It was encouraging to witness the enthusiasm around the myriad of benefits EV’s will reap for users.

Throughout the day attendees were treated to a variety of informative presentations, including one led by Helene Forsythe who spoke about the Charging Ahead program at Canterbury Bankstown, which was a Cities Power Partnership Awards finalist in the Sustainable Transport category. The council is taking progressive steps toward reducing their emissions, as they’ve just added more EV’s to their fleet, making it a total of 10 cars. They have also installed community charging infrastructure and are on the brink of delivering an innovative community access trial to their region.  

Overall, the day was a huge success with lots of positive feedback from attendees. Given that global transport pollution levels are rising by around 2.5% each year, it is important that communities continue to explore clean transportation options. Unfortunately Australia has had a slow adoption of EVs due to factors such as lack of policy support or incentives, lack of choice of available EV’s for sale in Australia and the availability of public vehicle charging infrastructure. That’s why it’s so important to have more EV days such as this, working to raise awareness and providing insight towards those that are wanting to make the switch to cleaner and greener modes of transport.

More references

List of available EV’s to test drive on the day.

Fuel Source Model 
Electric Tesla S
BMW i3
Hyundai IONIQ EV
Kona EV
Renault Kangoo Z.E.
Renault ZOE
Kira Niro
Nissan LEAF
Toyota iRoad
SEA Electric Truck
Plug in hybrid MINI Countryman
Fuel cell electric Hyundai Nexo
Toyota MIrai