Cannon-Brookes grant boosts local government transition to EV fleets.

A $300,000 grant from a clean energy fund created by Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes will be used to upskill council officers and procurement managers in transitioning local government fleets to EVs.

Entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes

The Cities Power Partnership, established by the Climate Council and representing a network of more than 170 councils, says the  grant from Boundless , announced on Tuesday, will be used to bolster its EV Fleet Program.

Participating councils will receive a range of resources including training to support their transition, and education about fuel efficiency standards and how to advocate to state and federal governments about any barriers they might face.

Cities Power Partnership director Portia Dr Odell says there are many benefits for councils that invest in electrifying their fleets, including driving down emissions, decreasing fleet maintenance costs, and modeling clean transport for their communities.

“Electrifying council fleets is a key factor in accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles and taking action on climate change,” Cities Power Partnership director Portia Dr Odell told Government News.

“It’s crucial councils begin stepping away from vehicles that run on polluting fossil fuels.”

She said she was thrilled Boundless had recognised the power of local government in demonstrating an all-electric future to their communities.

Merri-bek goes electric

Merri-bek City Council in metropolitan Melbourne added the first electric vehicle to its fleet in 2013. There are now 27 electric vehicles in Council’s light fleet, each saving approximately 2.5 tonnes of greenhouse emissions each year, according to  Mayor Angelica Panopoulos.

“The popularity of electric vehicles in Merri-bek is rapidly growing, and we have a network of 16 public chargers powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, as part of this shift towards alternative forms of transport,” she said.

The Cities Power Partnership says since receiving the funding it has appointed a dedicated EV Project Officer and started consultation with councils.

NSW EV fleet incentive enters third round

Meanwhile, NSW councils are being encouraged to apply for the state government’s third round of funding under its EV fleets incentive.

Portia Odell

Treasurer and Energy Minister Matt Kean said the first two rounds of funding for NSW fleets are expected to boost EV registrations by more than 10 per cent.

 The state government has committed $105 million to support NSW businesses, not-for-profits, hire companies and local councils to purchase new EVs and fuel cell electric vehicles.

The incentive is designed to help cover the gap between the cost of a new EV and the equivalent internal combustion engine vehicle that would have been purchased otherwise.

Across round 1 and 2 about 2,000 EVs have been incentivised through the program, Mr Kean said.

“The second round had 20 successful bidders  … who will receive a financial incentive to shift to EVs,” the minister said.

“Successful bidders will also receive financial support to co-fund a total of more than 1,000  smart chargers.”

The successful recipients include Woollahra Municipal Council, Northern Beaches Council, Murray River Council, Lockhart Shire Council, Campbelltown City Council and Ballina Shire Council.

Dr Odell said the Cities Power Partnership was thrilled to hear that six more NSW councils will be revving up their electric fleets.

“This will allow those councils to drive down their transport emissions, decrease their fleet maintenance costs and help add to the secondhand market for passenger EVs in the years to come,” she told Government News.

“When it comes to decarbonising state operations, electrifying council fleets is a smart move, given these vehicles often do much higher kilometres than private cars.

“Plus, with the average government fleet of vehicles entering the secondhand market after three to four years, councils play a unique role in increasing the supply of affordable electric vehicles to their communities.”

More information on Round 3 is available here.

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