BACK TO THE FUTURE AS MAYOR’S CAR GOES ALL-ELECTRIC

The former Dubbo City Council received accolades for innovating and pioneering an all-electric set of wheels as the first all-electric Mayoral vehicle anywhere in Australia in 2015. The then Mayor, Councillor Mathew Dickerson, took delivery of a full electric vehicle (EV) and paved the way for the city to become more EV aware and friendly, which for the time, was proactive and very future focussed.

Seven years later, the Mayor’s official use vehicle will once again be a full EV in the form of the Hyundai Ioniq 5. Personally purchased by Councillor Mathew Dickerson and sporting the unmissable ‘DUBBO’ licence plates, a full EV will once again be the official Mayoral ride.

“Seven years on the technology and the range of EVs has vastly improved,” said Mayor Mathew Dickerson. “Also continuously improving is the access to charging stations throughout Australia, including regional areas; and the community’s understanding of the benefits of EVs.” 

The Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency acknowledges the nation’s uptake of EVs is lower than other developed countries, with only 1.95 per cent of all new vehicles purchased in 2021, however it is expected to increase as cheaper models arrive and more charging infrastructure is rolled out.

“I would like to see people consider an EV as a real option, in particular in multi-car households, especially as technology has improved, access to charging stations has improved, and total cost of ownership of EVs is improving,” said Mayor Dickerson.

“The potential benefits to both the owners of EVs and the general community include: reduced fuel costs; lower maintenance costs; improved energy security; greenhouse gas emissions can be eliminated if EVs are charged using renewable energy; reduced air pollution and an improved driving experience.”

While there are a number of challenges for big organisations like Councils when it comes to the rollout of EVs across their vehicle fleet ‘electric’ is something Council is looking at.

“There are some limits to what Council can currently access for its light and heavy fleet,” said Mayor Dickerson.  “It’s an evolving work in progress that requires supporting policies and a comprehensive strategy adopted by Council to maximise the effect and costs for such a fleet.  More importantly, availability and ‘fit for purpose’ vehicles are needed, something manufacturers continue to work on insofar as light commercial and heavy vehicle options.”

Council does operate a full EV forklift at its Dubbo stores facility, as well as a full EV utility vehicle at the Wellington Caves. Council has purchased a full EV car for its light fleet for use by a corporate business area, while Council continues to honour its ‘green credentials’ by placing an order for another plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

“These are small but important steps as Council works to fully develop and design its longer-term ‘greener fleet’ strategies,” said Mayor Dickerson.

Last Edited: 23 Feb 2022

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