29 March 2021

New electric vehicles to drive climate change action

| Ian Bushnell
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Zero-Emission Car

Shane Rattenbury launches the electric vehicles at Winyu House in Gungahlin. Photos: George Tsotsos.

The ACT Government car fleet has received its first two Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicles, as part of the planned long-term transition to a zero-emissions transport sector in Canberra.

The vehicles, which have a substantial battery life and a range of 230 kilometres, were welcomed into the fleet at the Government offices at Winyu House in Gungahlin by Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury and Minister for Government Services and Procurement Rachel Stephen-Smith.

READ ALSO The best places to buy electric cars in Canberra

According to Hyundai, the Ioniq Electric offers the perfect transition to zero-emission electric driving from $49,253 to $54,078 but the Government paid less, although a spokesperson said the purchase price was commercial in confidence.

Charging takes less than 25 minutes to reach 80 per cent capacity on a 100kW DC fast charger, around four-and-a-half hours using a home AC fast charger, or 12 hours hooked up to a regular wall socket.

electric car

The cars can be charged to 80 per cent capacity in less than 25 minutes on a 100kW DC fast charger.

The vehicles are helping the Government achieve its commitments under the Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan released in 2018, which outlines actions to accelerate and support the uptake of zero-emission vehicles in the ACT.

This includes at least 50 per cent of all newly leased ACT Government fleet passenger vehicles being zero-emissions vehicles in 2019-20 (where fit for purpose) and all newly leased fleet passenger vehicles being zero-emissions vehicles from 2020-21.

Mr Rattenbury said with transport expected to create over 60 per cent of the ACT’s emissions by 2020, mostly from private car use, it was even more important that the ACT worked to bring down emissions.

“We can achieve this by encouraging active travel, providing high-quality low emissions public transport options and transitioning to zero-emissions vehicles,” he said.

“In transitioning our fleet to electric vehicles, the ACT Government is practising what we preach. These additional vehicles will join a growing ACT Government zero-emissions passenger vehicle fleet, including 17 fully electric and seven plug-in hybrids.

The Government aims to make at least 50 per cent of all newly leased ACT Government fleet passenger vehicles zero-emissions vehicles in 2019-20.

“When our renewable electricity supply reaches 100 per cent in 2020, all electric vehicles will be truly zero-emissions because they will be charged by clean electricity.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said it was great to see new zero-emissions vehicles incorporated into the Winyu House pool of vehicles.

“With an average daily travel distance of about 50 kilometres for our passenger fleet vehicles, these zero-emissions vehicles are a clean, efficient and cost-effective option,” she said.

“I look forward to seeing the ACT Government’s zero-emissions vehicle fleet continue to grow – driving climate action to deliver a cleaner, greener future.”

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Any costing comparison between the running costs for EV as against petrol/diesel vehicles at the moment is a bit futile. EVs pay no road tax whereas there is significant tax on petrol and diesel. I can’t see the various levels of government allowing this situation to continue once EVs become a significant fraction of the vehicles on the road. So far no-one is talking about road tax for EVs but it’s coming, as with fuel tax, it will hurt.

HiddenDragon6:20 pm 24 May 19

The debate over the location of Canberra’s large-scale lithium-ion car battery recycling plant will be entertaining.

That’s easy! Not in my suburb!

Capital Retro8:37 pm 25 May 19

It will be somewhere in Tuggeranong – maybe next to the new mercury vaporising crematorium.

Capital Retro10:28 am 24 May 19

“Especially great since Canberra will be effectively running on 100% renewables by late this year.”

No one really believes that, do they?

4.5 hours x all the car-owning households in Canberra x two cars each on average is one helluva lot of electricity being consumed overnight. Kinda dwarfs the infamous air-conditioning load!

Capital Retro12:11 pm 24 May 19

Please stay on narrative.

Tony Castley2:25 pm 24 May 19

if you are doing the calculations on changing all the cars then remember to subtract all the electricity usage by petrol stations, and the diesel used by the trucks to ship the fuel there… …. etc etc.

Yes Lucy, don’t ask questions that will embarrass the “minister”. He must look good, particularly this week with the luvvoids copping such a wack from sensible Aussies last weekend.

Capital Retro5:53 pm 24 May 19

And add back the cost of delivering electricity via the grid.

It takes three minutes to fuel a normal car. When electric cars have a five-minute charge I might consider one.

Tony Castley2:23 pm 24 May 19

The neat thing about electric cars is that about 90% of the times you charge you are not waiting for it to charge. You drive into your garage or driveway at home, you plug it into the wall, and walk upstairs. On full the car will go over 200km and you rarely use that in a day. When you do have to then find one of those fast chargers during your lunch break.

This is great for the local government fleet, if they are only driven about the city and never far from it, but for the general driving population, all-electric cars are not practicable yet.
I would prefer to see electric/petrol cars for the general population. These cars could use electricity around the city, but have a petrol engine for long distance. For instance I have driven to the NT twice in recent years. This journey is impossible at present for an electric car that only has a range of 230kms, and that’s when the battery is new. As the battery ages the distance would become even less. One example, between Barkly Homestead and Camooweal it’s 260kms. How would these cars manage that? They couldn’t. Then I would guess that the people running the Homestead would have difficulty supplying enough power to charge all these electric cars, because at present they bring fuel in to run generators. They don’t have mains power.

To think that electric cars can replace petrol cars at present doesn’t work, except for city use, such as the example of the local government cars.

“I look forward to seeing the ACT Government’s zero-emissions vehicle fleet continue to grow”
You do know that’s not your money you’re spending on these ~$50k shiny new cars, right Shane? Right?

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