As part of efforts to transition to renewable energy, a Victorian city council has introduced electric vehicles (EVs) for its members.
Mildura Rural City Council has just taken delivery of three EVs, featuring driving ranges of between 263 and 455km.
They include a vehicle for Mildura Mayor, Jason Modica, which he uses to visit towns and communities across the Mildura Council area, as well as travel to required conferences and meetings in other parts of Victoria representing the municipality.
Councillor for Environment and Sustainability, Jodi Reynolds, said the new EVs would slash running and maintenance costs compared to their petrol or diesel equivalents, costing less than $5 to fully charge and requiring much less maintenance – for example they don’t need engine oil changes.
Cr Reynolds said transitioning to EVs will also drive down greenhouse emissions, given Council’s fleet accounts for about 25 per cent of the organisation’s overall emissions, excluding landfill.
Charging stations have been installed at Council’s Deakin and Madden Avenue service centres, meaning the three new vehicles are powered by 100 per cent renewable energy following Council’s recent inclusion in the Victorian Energy Collaboration.
All three vehicles were purchased from local dealerships, which is where they will be serviced.
In another step forward for renewable energy-powered transport in the region, Ouyen’s EV fast charging station recently came online.
Based at the Ouyen Community Park, the facility is the second public charging station in the region and was established through a collaborative effort between Council, the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance (CVGA), Ouyen, the Victorian Government and Evie Networks.
Part of the CVGA-led Charging the Regions project, it’s one of 23 public EV fast chargers across 21 cities and towns in regional Victoria.
Council was among six participating municipalities to share in $664,000 in Victorian Government funding last year.
“This network of fast chargers means there are charging points every 100km between Mildura and Melbourne,” Cr Reynolds said.
“This will help boost the adoption of EVs in regional areas, reduce range anxiety and make it easier than ever for tourists who own EVs to visit our region, which, given the financial impact of the pandemic on our tourism sector over the past 18 months, will certainly be welcomed.”