Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 11 November 2021) . . Page.. 3319 ..
swapping one car for another car is effortless. It slashed two tonnes overnight and there was no behavioural change required.
That is why one of the first things I did when I got this new job was to get rid of that old car and buy an EV. I have gone from not owning a car at all to perhaps owning the coolest car in the country. It is a Hyundai IONIQ and I hired street artist Paul Summerfield to put a wrap over it. He has made this glorious steampunk vision of the Canberra of the future. It has got power from solar and wind, the animals have taken over, there is nature all through the city. It is just fantastic and it makes a lot of people smile all around Belconnen.
I am really, really pleased to see the ACT government’s ambitious procurement of electric vehicles for the fleet. I was really glad to hear this morning that we are considering zero emissions garbage trucks. I called a few times for that as part of the 2023 collection contract, and I think this is absolutely the right time to be looking at it.
Electric buses are another great win. We have started to make that switch but we need to keep going. Our bus fleet accounts for three per cent of Canberra’s tailpipe emissions and an enormous 52 per cent of ACT government emissions. We have got a goal of a zero emissions bus fleet by 2040 but the New South Wales government has set a faster pace. They want to hit that by 2030. And just as with EV passenger cars, we know we can save money long term if we switch over, because those electric buses do not need diesel and the servicing costs are much lower.
We need to build our charging infrastructure and plan for this change, but I think we can make it faster than we are planning right now. I am also wondering if procuring with New South Wales government might help get us economies of scale that will make it a bit cheaper.
EVs are glorious to drive. I have never yet met anyone who switched and regretted it. Over the life of a car, they are cheaper to run. They cost less to service and you never have to buy petrol again. But they are still expensive to buy up-front. I say this because I am not a car person. I once bought a $500 car. I talked it down to $450 because $500, just frankly, seemed a little too much to spend on a car. Now you cannot yet buy an EV for $450—not yet. The prices are coming down. At the start of this year the cheapest EV available in Australia was over $50,000. That has now come down to around $43,000. It is still a lot of money for many, many people. That is why the Sustainable Household Scheme includes EVs. The $15,000 interest-free loan takes the sting off the initial purchase price. If you are already in the market for a new car, you really should consider an EV, because it will pay for itself over time, and it will be even quicker with that loan.
There are also second-hand EVs. Those are much, much cheaper. I saw one advertised today for $11,000. That is actually getting to be a really good, cheap car. The range is a bit lower but these are really good as a town car.
The Sustainable Household Scheme will include loans for home EV charging equipment. I think that is really good, but not everyone will need it. I am not sure if Ms Castley has direct experience of an EV; it is really important for us to build our