Blue Mountains News

Council explores electric vehicle options

By Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 4 Jul 2022
Council staff and the Mayor inspect an electric vehicle.
Council is launching a strategic transition to electric vehicles (EVs) for its fleet, beginning with a pilot program of four vehicles.

This will allow Council to gain an understanding of how EV technology can work at scale and how it can meet Council’s business needs in the future.

Blue Mountains Mayor, Councillor Mark Greenhill, said: “As a Council committed to a more sustainable future, we are exploring the environmental and economic benefits of moving our fleet to electric.

“By initially trialling the technology on a small scale – with four passenger vehicles – we can investigate a gradual, economically viable transition to electric vehicles.

“This will also provide us with ways to explore logistical issues, such as charging EVs and how the infrastructure can be managed. And it will allow us time for technological advancements, increased availability and the economic viability of appropriate vehicles, especially for our larger commercial vehicles, such as utes, vans and trucks.”

The planned transition of Council’s Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to electric or zero tailpipe emission vehicles will take place incrementally over the coming years, in line with budgets and with Council’s aim of changing 30 per cent of Council’s fleet to electric by 2025.

Council’s pilot program trialling four vehicles is supported with a $31,100 incentive from

the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (Net Zero Industry and Innovation Program).

While the cost of EVs is currently higher in both the short and medium-term, the gap is expected to drop significantly in the next 10 years and beyond. EVs are then expected to deliver reduced operating costs that will partially offset the initial cost difference. By 2025 the gap is anticipated to be close to price parity on a whole of life basis.

Council has also endorsed advocating to the federal government on changes to fringe benefits tax on EVs, removing barriers to staff uptake.

“Given that this Council has committed to climate action in line with globally agreed goals and to becoming a net-zero organisation by 2025 and given the scale of emissions from an ICE vehicle fleet, this transition is a priority action,” Cr Greenhill said.

 
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