Victoria’s Greater Shepparton City Council has become the latest local government to make the switch to electric vehicles – at least partially – with the purchase of two Nissan Leafs.
The Council, which last year kicked off a $225,500 rooftop solar roll-out across various council buildings, said on Monday it was now turning its attention to its car fleet, as the next most significant emitter of greenhouse gases.
The two Leafs reportedly arrived at Council in October, and were branded this month and introduce into the fleet.
Charging stations have also been installed at two separate Council offices, as part of Victoria’s ‘Charging the Regions’ project, which aims to help local governments across the state to play a role in providing or facilitating public EV charging infrastructure.
“Having these vehicles in our fleet will reduce our emissions, promote the benefit of energy efficient technologies that are driven by renewable energy and showcase that electric vehicles are feasible in a regional area,” said Geraldine Christou, the council’s head of sustainable development.
“All the feedback we have received from drivers of electric vehicles tells us they are easy to drive, quick off the mark and most importantly, healthier for the environment. Keep an eye out for our vehicles around town.”
The move by Shepparton council, while a small one, is just the latest in a series of initiatives being undertaken by local governments, in the absence of any federal government incentives or leadership on the shift to low-carbon transport.
In Sydney, the three main councils covering the city’s eastern suburbs – Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick – joined forces to install kerbside EV charging stations in each of the three local government areas.
In Sydney’s north-east, the City of Ryde is working up plans to buy two EVs for the staff transport pool and install three charging stations.
The inner Melbourne local government area of Hobson’s Bay in October switched its council car fleet to electric vehicles, and installed a public 50kW fast charger, as part of a suite of measures to reach net zero emissions.
That Council, which has also signed up to the Local Government renewable PPA and installed solar on its buildings, said the switch to EVs would deliver its goal of carbon neutral operations by next year – the targeted date.
And in the regional NSW city of Wagga Wagga, mayor Greg Conkey took up the challenge of driving his Council’s newly acquired Hyundai Ioniq to Sydney, to prove a point to local EV skeptics.