When we think about accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, there are a few techniques that could work. These include discounts on taxes like stamp duty and registration, a straight-up discount on the purchase price, or to lead by example and have Governments start transitioning their fleet to EVs.
The New South Wales Government has elected progress the latter option, with the announcement that they’re not only meeting but beating their EV target set back in 2019.
The NSW Government’s Future Transport 2056 strategy is a 40-year strategy that plans to deliver customer-focused, technology-driven services to improve the productivity, liveability and sustainability of communities across the state.
We often accuse our politicians of being short-sighted and taking decisions that benefit them in an election cycle, rather than benefiting the community over the long term. This is an example of a Government doing the right thing and something they should be commended for. Naturally, the dollars need to continue flowing over successive Governments for this plan to become a reality.
The first of 3 key actions listed in the strategy was a commitment to target at least 10% of the purchased or leased passenger vehicles be electric or hybrid vehicles by 2021.
NSW Government has already achieved this target and we’re only halfway through 2020. Instead of resting on that achievement, the NSW Government has announced they are increasing that goal to 30%.
Each year, around 3,000 vehicles are added or replaced in the NSW Government fleet. This means 30% would see around 900 vehicles being EV or hybrid. While I wish all 30% was going to be EVs, the Government is committing to around 300 being Electric Vehicles.
What’s almost more important than the sheer number of EVs, is the impact these will have on society’s awareness of electric vehicles. These 300 vehicles will be used by hundreds of people and those friends and family of Government employees will be engaged in conversations about EVs, ultimately helping spread the message of the benefits.
While the up-front purchase price remains higher than ICE vehicles today, the substantially lower running costs and almost no maintenance costs will reduce the overall total cost of ownership.
In the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Net Zero Plan for 2020 – 2030, it estimates that switching to an electric vehicle can save $1300 on fuel and $300 on maintenance a year.
By encouraging vehicle fleet procurers to buy electric vehicles, their bulk purchasing power will incentivise importers to sell a greater range of electric vehicle models.
This means the NSW electric vehicle market will become increasingly competitive and lower cost.
Co-funding fleets with the private or local government sector will bring a substantial number of new electric vehicles into New South Wales.
These vehicles are typically resold to the second-hand market after three to five years, giving NSW drivers more electric vehicle options at a lower cost.
While the specific cars haven’t been confirmed, it’s expected they’ll be largely made up of lower-cost (starting A$53k), mid-range EVs like the Hyundai Kona or Ioniq EV. So no, the Government isn’t buying a bunch of Teslas.
With a growth in electric vehicles, it’s also important to consider an increase in demand for electric charging infrastructure. Thankfully the strategy also targets co-investment in fast-charging infrastructure.
While Australian’s have done a great job of adopting rooftop solar, we lag behind the rest of the world in terms of EV adoption. I would love to see the Federal Government create progressive policy like this that encourages more people to migrate to electric vehicles.
Via The Driven.