Page 921 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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internal combustion engine vehicles from 2035; prohibiting the onboarding of new internal combustion engine vehicles to rideshare and taxi networks by 2030; introducing incentives for the installation of EV charging at multi-unit buildings; and expanding the public EV charging network to ensure that there are at least 180 publicly available charging stations in the ACT by 2025.

Our announcement of “banning the registration of new petrol-driven vehicles in 2035” caught the nation’s attention. We were the first jurisdiction to make such a commitment and some commentators described this as impossible to achieve. But we know that the global economy is rapidly decarbonising, and our target aligns with similar commitments from major car manufacturers and progressive nations. Norway has a target of no new internal combustion engine vehicle sales from 2025 and looks set to meet this ahead of time. That is certainly ahead of the ACT.

Canberra is a small city but we have the capacity to help drive global change.
This announcement provided other Australian jurisdictions and cities with the opportunity to think big and prepare for the inevitable transition. The reality, for many Canberrans, is that your next car will be electric, and in the lead-up to 2035 new electric vehicles will become more accessible to more people.

The strategy sets out 24 immediate actions to support the uptake of zero emissions vehicles in the territory. Sixteen of the 24 actions of the strategy have been implemented. We have made zero emissions vehicles more affordable through two years free registration; stamp duty exemptions; and interest-free loans of up to $15,000 through the Sustainable Household Scheme.

Two of the biggest perceived barriers to EV adoption, range anxiety and public charger availability, are being addressed through support to accelerate the rollout of public charging infrastructure in the territory. The first round of public chargers supported by ACT government grants will come online through 2023, with future grant rounds anticipated to ensure that Canberrans can access at least 180 public charging stations in the ACT by 2025. We also continue to work with our colleagues in state and commonwealth government to ensure that Canberrans can access a growing, reliable network of interstate chargers.

The ACT government continues to show leadership in the government fleet transition. Since 2020, 100 per cent of all newly leased passenger vehicles have been zero emissions vehicles, where fit for purpose. To date, 23 per cent of fleet vehicles are zero emissions vehicles and 20 per cent are low emissions vehicles. As more ICE vehicles reach the end of their lease period and are replaced with zero emissions vehicles, this percentage will continue to increase.

Our lessons learned in this fleet transition have been shared with state and commonwealth colleagues, and we welcome their respective commitments to transition their own fleets. Government leadership sets an example for others to follow and allows lessons to be learned and shared. It also helps to grow a workforce of skilled EV charger installers and mechanics. Well-maintained government fleet EVs will also enter the second-hand market at the end of their lease, making EVs more accessible to more Canberrans.

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