The Yass Valley Council considered the pros and cons of switching its fleet of vehicles to electric at last week’s Council meeting, but due to the high upfront costs will continue to closely monitor the market.

In Council deliberations taking on board fringe benefit tax implications for its staff Council has also called for a report back on the effects of introducing a fully electric vehicle to its fleet as a pilot project.

A transition to an electric vehicle (EV) fleet strategy to assist the council reduce its carbon footprint and any future net-zero targets may be adopted in the future. In the meantime, the domestic electric vehicle market, the range of vehicles offered, incentives, prices and infrastructure upgrades will continue to be closely monitored to ensure that future decisions made consider both fit-for-purpose and providing value-for-money.

Currently, the Council meeting report stated that initial capital cost of electric vehicles is greater, however with available state and federal subsidies, rebates and running and maintenance costs being much lower the direct impact is less significant.

EV market share is expected to grow on a continuing upward trajectory, second hand EV sales and demand is likely to be very strong.

Some industry experts are predicting an EV to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle price parity in Australia by 2024 which will make EV adoption calculations much more favourable to Council.

The NSW government is committed to helping private businesses, not-for-profits and Local Councils bridge the cost to transition their fleets to an electric passenger, light commercial or sports utility vehicles. The state government will invest $105 million via a competitive reverse tender auction process to assist this transition.

NSW Government has also launched the Drive Electric NSW EV Fleets incentive, helping private businesses, not-for-profits and local councils across the state accelerate their transition to EV at a lower cost, while lowering state transport emissions.

Corporate and government fleets account for over half of new vehicle sales in Australia, are a significant source of second-hand vehicles, often drive more kilometres and have higher expenses for fuel and maintenance.

When organisations electrify their fleets, they are not only presented with a huge opportunity to reduce their emissions and save money but can have a powerful impact on the national market, spurring demand for and increasing supply of EV, both new and used.

The incentive will help bridge the cost of transitioning passenger, light commercial or sports utility vehicles to either battery EV or fuel cell EV through a reverse tender auction process, with additional funds also available for smart base charging.

This will help meet outcomes of the EV Strategy to increase EV sales to 52 per cent by 2030-31 and see many new car sales being EVs by 2035, while working towards net-zero emissions by 2050.

Over the next four years, EV charging infrastructure will be rolled out across the State. The NSW Government has committed another $171 million to help co-fund with private operators the installation of EV charging infrastructure across the whole state.

This investment will ensure everyone in NSW has access to charging infrastructure at every 5km along Sydney’s major commuter corridors, on average every 100km along major highways in NSW, within 5km of residential areas with limited off-street parking, and in or near commuter car parks and other Transport for NSW owned land.

Additionally, the NSW Government will provide grants to small tourism businesses to boost investment in EV infrastructure at regional tourism destinations for the next three years.

New regulations will apply to allow EV to use transit lanes and priority parking spots to recharge, making the use of EV more convenient for those on the road.