Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne

COUNCILS ACROSS THE COUNTRY have already started planning for electric vehicle fleet upgrades and infrastructure, but say that Federal or State Government support would enable them to do much more according to a survey carried out by the Cities Power Partnership.

The Cities Power Partnership survey, carried out with 40 local governments across the country, shows that councils are ready to charge ahead with electric vehicles (EVs), with almost 81% reporting that they have an investigation into integrating EVs into fleet underway or completed.  

Of the councils that are already acting, more than half say they are planning charging infrastructure and 44% have begun installing public charge points. Thirty-eight per cent say they are planning to include EVs within their council fleets.

But an overwhelming majority (95%) say that a national body or government support would help them to do more to kickstart the local EV revolution.

Tracie Armstrong, Director of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership, said that the survey shows that Australia’s local councils are ready and willing to charge ahead with EVs, but are waiting for the green light from the Federal Government.

“The councils we work with have recognised how important EVs are to reducing transport emissions – but the cost factor and a lack of government support is holding them back”, she said.

“Local governments are key to getting Australia moving on electric vehicles, introducing new cars to the market via fleet purchases and increasing charging infrastructure coverage. They’ve done the groundwork, and now it’s time for the Federal Government to hit the accelerator to seriously increase uptake of EVs across regional Australia.”

Last week Federal Labor 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.


  • Almost 81% of councils responding have begun or completed investigations into increasing EV uptake in their local area.
  • Almost 64% of councils responding have begun or completed investigations into charging infrastructure in their local area.
  • 56% have started planning charging infrastructure installment with a further 44% having started installing public charging infrastructure.
  • 70% said that financial assistance would help them to better support EVs and charging infrastructure.
  • 95% said a national body and/or government support would make it more likely that they would implement EVs and/or charging infrastructure
  • Councils were prepared to offer attractive incentives to EV owners and charging providers including parking concessions (41%), free or low cost electricity at council owned charging stations (53%) and fast track planning and approvals processes (29%)

Looking forward, the Cities Power Partnership has identified new opportunities to help smooth the transition for councils looking to embrace electric motoring.

“One of the interesting things that we are helping to contribute to is bulk buying for council fleets,” Tracie Armstrong said.

“A council may only be able to afford to buy one or two cars but because they are going in with a group they are sharing the cost and can get a cheaper rate, enabling them to purchase more vehicles. They might not have done it if they were going alone.”


For more information contact Fiona Ivits, Cities Power Partnership Media Advisor, on 0487003872 or [email protected]