At a summit of climate action councils, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury today encouraged local jurisdictions to consider joining the ACT to coordinate possible ‘bulk buy’ purchase of electric vehicles for government fleets.
In April, the Government released ‘The ACT’s Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan 2018-2021’. The plan sets a clear direction for the ACT to demonstrate leadership and outlines the actions Government will take to accelerate and support the uptake of zero emissions vehicles, including that:
- At least 50% of all newly leased ACT Government fleet passenger vehicles will be zero emissions vehicles in 2019-20 (where fit for purpose);
- All newly leased ACT Government fleet passenger vehicles will be zero emissions vehicles from 2020-21.
As of March 2018, there are 680 cars in the ACT Government passenger vehicle fleet. Currently there are 17 battery electric vehicles and 7 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the ACT fleet, plus 62 hybrid vehicles (86 vehicles in total).
“Local jurisdictions are at the frontline of climate change impacts, and are well-placed to implement climate change solutions,” Minister Rattenbury said.
“That’s why today I’ve reaffirmed offer to other jurisdictions to work with the ACT, and enhance our bargaining power to get the best prices for electric vehicles.
“This presents a unique opportunity for the ACT Government to negotiate a better deal with manufacturers, when it comes to a ‘bulk buy’ of electric vehicles in our fleet.
“Working closely with other councils who may also wish to expand their electric vehicle fleets, this strengthens our negotiating position and signals that there is a strong and growing demand for electric vehicles in the Australian market. These efforts will ensure that Canberra and the region is well-placed to take advantage of this growing global trend, including the flow-on economic benefits.”
The ACT’s Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan also commits the Government to working with local and state governments to facilitate the installation of charging stations on major routes to and from Canberra, including routes to Sydney and coastal areas, tackling so-called ‘range anxiety’ and promoting regional tourism and economic opportunities.
The shift to zero emissions vehicles will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and reduce noise pollution. This is an important part of our work to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 at the latest.
In 2020, emissions from transport are estimated to account for over 60% of ACT emissions. Reducing emissions from car use is therefore critical for reducing overall emissions.
Overnight, the ACT Government took out top honours for its work on the climate change frontline at the inaugural Cities Power Partner Summit Award, winning the Sustainable Transport Achievement Award.
Speaking to the Award, Alix Pearce, director of the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest local government climate alliance, said that the range of climate solutions coming out of Australia’s councils was staggering.
“The local climate solutions on display at these awards are tangible proof that Australian communities are rising up to meet the challenges of climate change,” she said.
“From supporting local schools to save thousands on their power bills through solar energy to implementing sustainable transport strategies, Cities Power Partnership councils are leading the way with practical local climate solutions.”
The news follows the ACT’s recent commitment, together with 74 members, including national governments and subnational governments, to rapidly phase out traditional coal power. The ACT as the first Australian government to sign the Powering Past Coal Alliance.
“The ACT—the nation’s climate action capital—continues to drive climate action, delivering on a transition to cleaner, greener energy future,” Minister Rattenbury added.
- Statement ends -
Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases
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