Going electric

Two new electric vehicles have joined the Yarra Ranges Council fleet.

Two new electric vehicles have joined the Yarra Ranges Council fleet, as part of a trial to help Council reach its carbon emissions reduction target of 30 per cent by 2020.

The Hyundai IONIQ electric vehicles will be powered by the solar panels on top of Council’s offices, via recharging stations onsite and have been purchased by Council at a believed cost of $40,000 each

Mayor Tony Stevenson said Council was committed to proactively reducing carbon emissions wherever possible.

“Council has had hybrid electric vehicles in our fleet for some time now but investing in this new generation of fully electric vehicles for employees to drive will save us more money, encourage us to use renewable energy and further decrease our dependence on fossil fuels,” Cr Stevenson said.

Electric vehicles are still much pricier than Internal Combustion Engine cars, but Council states the Ioniqs will provide annual savings of around $2,000 in terms of operating and maintenance cost (based on $1.50 per litre of fuel and annual travel of 20,000 kilometres).

“Greenhouse gas emissions from electric vehicles are significantly lower than standard internal combustion engines, even when charged from regular grid electricity,” Cr Stevenson said.

“A typical small car generates about 4.77 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, compared to an electric vehicle with zero tailpipe emissions.

“IONIQs are charged solely from grid electricity, so they will generate only 2.46 tonnes of CO2e per year, which is a 48 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

Hybrid electric vehicles have been part of the Council fleet for some time, but Council chose fully electric vehicles to encourage the use of renewable energy and further lessen dependence on fossil fuels.