Australian Capital Territory publishes action plan to guide transition to zero-emission vehicles

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has published an action plan to guide the territory in the southeast of Australia transition to zero-emission vehicles.

The plan was announced on Monday by Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury and Minister for Transport and City Services Meegan Fitzharris.

“The ACT’s Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan 2018-2021 will further enhance the ACT government’s reputation as a world leader in sustainability by encouraging the use of zero-emission vehicles and e-bikes,” Rattenbury said.

“The action plan contains a variety of actions, including a government commitment to a zero-emission vehicle fleet, new charging infrastructure, and incentives for consumers to purchase zero emission vehicles.

“Through this action plan, the ACT government will cement itself as the national leader in zero emissions vehicles. Tackling climate change means tackling transport pollution, and zero-emission vehicle technology is a key part of this,” said Rattenbury.

Transport Minister Meegan Fitzharris said electric vehicle ownership in Canberra, the only city in ACT and the capital city of Australia, already has many benefits.

“Zero emissions vehicles cause less air and noise pollution, have lower running costs, don’t incur stamp duty and receive a 20% discount on registration fees. Electric bikes also help make it easier and cheaper for people to get around our city while getting exercise at the same time,” said Fitzharris.

“By 2020 the ACT will be powered by 100% renewable electricity meaning our biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions – at over 60% – will come from transport.

“We’re undertaking a trial of two battery electric buses and a hybrid bus running on diesel, we have an e-bike fleet for ACT public servants to use and we’re facilitating installation of charging points across the city.”

In order to support the transition to zero emissions vehicles, this new Zero Emission Vehicle Action Plan commits to a range of measures, including:

  • Transitioning the ACT government fleet to zero emission vehicles (at least 50% of all newly leased ACT government fleet passenger vehicles will be zero-emissions vehicles by 2019-20 and all newly leased ACT government passenger vehicles will be zero-emission vehicles from 2020-21 (where fit for purpose);
  • Requiring all new multi-unit and mixed-use developments to install vehicle charging infrastructure;
  • Permitting zero-emission vehicles to drive in transit lanes until 2023 (to commence later in 2018);
  • Working with local and state governments to facilitate the installation of charging stations on major routes to and from Canberra including routes to Sydney and coastal areas;
  • Investigating incentives to encourage the use of electric bikes in place of cars.

The action plan will feed into ACT’s next transport and climate change strategies.

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