1,500k road trip aims to demonstrate benefits of EVs in regional WA

WA’s peak local government body has hit the road with an initiative to encourage regional councils to transition their fleets to electric.

Karen Chappel

In a joint initiative between WALGA, regional energy provider Horizon Power, Energy Policy WA and car share company MoJo, an electric vehicle has set off on a three-week road which will see it visit ten WA local governments across the Mid-West and Pilbara regions.

Local government officers, tourism associations and local businesses will get a chance to test drive the car during stopovers in their LGA.

It follows a recent successful pilot with the Goldfields Voluntary Regional Organisation of Councils (GVROC), where 86 per cent of local government participants had never driven an EV before.

The project aims to give participating councils a better understanding of EV charging, range, and suitability for operational purposes, to encourage them to invest in technology.

The EV will cover approximately 1,500km from Perth to the Pilbara, visiting the local government areas of Yalgoo, Murchison, Mount Magnet, Meekatharra, Cue, East Pilbara, Port Hedland, Ashburton, Karratha, Carnarvon, and Greater Geraldton. 

This pilot is highlighting what is possible and will provide useful data to inform the development of future charging infrastructure.

WALGA President Karen Chappel

WALGA President Karen Chappel has endorsed the initiative as a way of highlighting the benefits of electric vehicles in the regions.

“The biggest challenges for local government going electric are the distances involved and limited infrastructure,” Cr Chappel said.

“This pilot is highlighting what is possible and will provide useful data to inform the development of future charging infrastructure.”

WALGA is also currently working with 22 local governments on a $7 million ARENA funding bid to install 105 new charging stations and subsidise the purchase of EVs.

Meanwhile, the state’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has also partnered with WALGA to deliver a pilot regional climate alliance program.

The program is an initiative under the state government’s Western Australian Climate Policy.

 WALGA says it will continue to advocate for the program to be expanded across the state.

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