Mayors gather to kick-start electric vehicle push

Mayors from Bathurst, Orange, Parkes, Cabonne, the ACT and Strathbogie recently gathered at the Mount Panorama racetrack in Bathurst to try out the latest electric cars and to attend a forum on how councils can drive the uptake of electric vehicles across Australia.

Climate Councillor Greg Bourne said that regional councils are perfectly placed to kick-start Australia’s EV revolution.

“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,” he said.

“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 permits 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 was 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.”

This story first appeared in the Climate Leadership Report