Regional councils gather to accelerate EV uptake

Thursday, 31 May, 2018

Regional councils gather to accelerate EV uptake

Regional mayors rallied together at the famous Mount Panorama racetrack in Bathurst this week to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs).

The gathering was an initiative of the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership — a free national program that celebrates and accelerates the pollution reduction and clean energy successes of Australia in towns and cities. It saw representatives from Bathurst, Orange, Parkes, Cabonne, the ACT and Strathbogie take the latest electric cars for a spin on the iconic racetrack, followed by a forum on how councils can supercharge EVs across regional Australia.

“It’s exciting to see regional councils plugging into the future of transport and refusing to be bypassed despite Australia’s sluggish start in the global EV race,” said Climate Councillor Greg Bourne.

“Building regional electric vehicle hubs, including charging infrastructure networks, community education and introduction of vehicles into corporate fleets, public transport and local markets, will be key to accelerating Australia’s EV uptake — and councils are uniquely placed to drive this action.

“Transport is Australia’s second-highest source of greenhouse gas pollution that is driving climate change. By shifting gear to renewable-powered electric cars and buses, regional councils in the Cities Power Partnership are playing a crucial role in Australia’s climate solution.”

Leading the front of the pack is the ACT Government, which recently announced a territory-wide action plan to drive electric vehicle (EV) growth. The plan includes transitioning the government fleet to zero-emissions vehicles, requiring new multi-unit and mixed-use developments to install vehicle-charging infrastructure and permitting zero-emissions vehicles to drive in transit lanes (to commence later this year).

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said that the ACT is keen to work with other councils within the region to increase EV uptake.

“Regional cooperation is key to creating a thriving electric vehicle network, and we’re looking to explore opportunities for charging networks and bulk fleet purchases with other local governments,” he said.

“Tackling climate change means tackling transport pollution, and zero-emission vehicle technology is a key part of this.”

Image credit: © Demitsev

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