South Australia’s state government has revealed plans to increase the number of low emissions vehicles in its transport fleet to 30 per cent over the next three years, drawing from a range of technologies including electric, hydrogen and hybrid EVs.
The target, based on a commitment made in this year’s state budget, will boost the number of LEVs in the government fleet from 161 to around 2000, a move the government hopes will act as “a lever” for change in the domestic car market, while bringing the state’s capital, Adelaide, closer to its goal of the world’s first carbon neutral city.
The commitment comes as the Weatherill government cops serious flack for its ambitious approach to renewable energy in the state, which the opposition and conservative press has blamed – erroneously, it turns out – for the state’s volatile electricity prices.
“The state government is a very significant customer and that means we can use our purchasing power as a lever to enact change,” said the state’s treasurer and energy minister, Tom Koutsantonis, in a statement on Friday.
“The purchase of around 2000 low emission vehicles will also help drive innovation, investment and jobs in this growing industry,” he said.
Koutsantonis said the procurement of LEVs, which would ultimately extend to ministerial vehicles, was likely to include several different models, and that the government was currently negotiating with a range of suppliers.
He said the government had undertaken extensive global research on LEVs that had resulted in an improved understanding of the range of technologies, both available and emerging, and informed the development of the policy.
Meanwhile, the government has committed to continue its support of Holden and purchase locally-built vehicles right up until production in the state ceases next year.