View Navigation View Search

Canberra region to become electric vehicle capital of Australia

NRMA EV-copy.jpg

Imagine not having to pay for your car’s fuel? With an electric vehicle and NRMA membership, you won’t have to.

The organisation has announced it will establish Australia’s largest electric vehicle fast-charging network, which will be free for its members.

The $10 million investment will deliver at least 40 chargers – more than double the current amount in NSW and the ACT – removing the barrier of fuel costs, increasing renewable energy use and supporting tourism by unlocking regional locations currently inaccessible to EVs.

NRMA chairman Kyle Loades said financial success in 2016-17 made it possible for the business to invest in the initiative, which could help the shift away from petrol and diesel.

“Our research has highlighted that a lack of charging infrastructure is the single greatest barrier identified by NRMA Members to purchasing an electric vehicle,” Mr Loades said.

“There are simply not enough chargers in public places to make electric vehicles viable for longer journeys, and the NRMA’s investment will change this forever.”

However, there has been under-investment in the EV market in Australia, Mr Loades said.

NRMA released a report, The Future is Electric, which found that although more countries are moving towards electric vehicles, they were still more expensive than conventional vehicles.

Australia also has a history of low EV uptake. There are two million electric vehicles on the road globally, but only 1369 EVs were sold in Australia in 2016, representing just 0.1 per cent of the market.

Despite these numbers, consumers have positive attitudes about EVs.

The Electric Vehicle Council conducted a survey of 504 Victorians that found that 50.2 per cent of respondents would be willing to consider purchasing an EV, but issues like purchase cost and charge range ultimately stopped them.

The report said this was quickly changing with the mass production of more efficient batteries.

NRMA said they could remove these concerns and bridge the gap between consumers desires and actions, supporting the adoption and rollout of electric vehicles in Australia with the new network of free chargers.

“The NRMA’s core purpose is to keep people moving, and this initiative to remove obstacles to the adoption of electric vehicles and give motorists peace of mind will do exactly that,” Mr Loades said.

A charging station is already in operation at NRMA’s new headquarters at Sydney Olympic Park, and new charger sites are set to appear in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the ACT, Illawarra, the Mid North Coast and Newcastle.

NRMA is now calling for potential partnerships with councils and community groups to bring a charger to their local areas.

Driving climate action through electric vehicle MOU

ACT Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Shane Rattenbury will today sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Mayors and Ministers from several other jurisdictions to support the greater use of electric vehicles (EVs).

Speaking from the Climate Action Roundtable in Adelaide, Minister Rattenbury said the MOU would assist climate change mitigation efforts, noting the “significant challenges and opportunities” presented by the transport sector.

Transport will be the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards, and cars will soon become Canberra’s single biggest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.

“As well as improving public transport and active travel options, we also need to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. In addition to providing zero emissions transport, electric vehicles also offer cheaper running costs and reduce air and noise pollution,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Australia has been regrettably slow in its uptake of electric vehicles. This MOU seeks to turn this around, and will allow jurisdictions such as the ACT and South Australia to take advantage of their joint purchasing power, and to cooperate on other initiatives such as planning recharging points across jurisdictions.”

The MOU commits the signatories (the ACT, South Australia, City of Adelaide, City of Hobart and the Electric Vehicle Council of Australia) to working together to increase the share of electric vehicles in government fleets, support the uptake of electric vehicles in the community, and take a coordinated approach to planning and constructing infrastructure to support the use of electric vehicles.

“Taking action on climate change is not something that can be done in isolation. We need progress at all levels of government, and by working together we drive change and make the most of opportunities to transition to net zero greenhouse emissions as soon as possible,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Canberra is fast becoming a hub for renewable energy and clean technologies, and is the ideal place for electric vehicle initiatives. It is the only jurisdiction in Australia to have a Green Vehicles Stamp Duty Scheme to encourage the purchase of low emission vehicles. Our transition to 100% renewable energy means EVs can be recharged here without creating greenhouse gas emissions.

“In the ACT we are building a light rail network powered by renewable electricity and we’re trialing electric buses. Through our Next Generation renewable energy auction, the ACT Government has also secured a trial of hydrogen powered vehicles. The ACT is making progress but there is more to do.

“As with our recent Cities Power Partnership, the Climate Action Roundtable presents an opportunity to work closely with other jurisdictions and accelerate our progress towards achieving net zero emissions,” Mr Rattenbury said.

Source: Fifth Estate and ACT Government

To Home