Australia’s Victoria state government has announced a new budget to buy electric cars for its fleet. The commitment includes purchasing 400 new vehicles and charging infrastructure over the next two years for about $15 million.
Victoria has been infamously struggling with EV policies, at least when it comes to those facing the public. The state government had reportedly introduced a road tax for electric cars, effectively making their purchase pricey in Spring ’21. Then, in half a swerve, the same government introduced a purchase subsidy of $3,000, financed in turn by said EV road tax.
At the same time, Victoria also promised to look into fleet electrification across the government. The now announced scheme will see them purchase electric cars in two stages. Seventy-five zero-emissions vehicles are set for purchase before the end of June this year, with a further 325 cars added to the government fleet in the following financial year.
“Electric and zero-emissions vehicles are the future of transport, and we’re paving the way with the first ZEVs entering the Victorian government fleet,” said Assistant Treasurer Danny Pearson.
While the Victorian government has not disclosed any specific model, it said that its initial preference would be to purchase small to medium electric SUVs as a replacement for its existing passenger vehicle fleet. It added vehicle manufacturers had been engaged and were encouraged to submit.
The investment will come through the government’s motor vehicle state purchase contract so that it may include light and heavy commercial vehicles and police vehicles at some point.
The new commitment is in addition to more than 100 zero-emissions vehicles already under order by the state government.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio called the move a “historic investment in renewable energy to meet our ambitious target of halving emissions by 2030, and electric vehicles have a critical role to play in meeting that commitment.”
Victoria has previously also committed all new purchases in the public transportation sector from 2025 to be exclusively electric buses and to power all trains from renewable energy. The state targets net-zero emissions by 2050.
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