THE Australian Capital Territory government will stop buying conventionally engined cars in 2021 as it tries to encourage its 400,000 residents to instead buy electric vehicles.
The move is part of the territory’s aim to become carbon-neutral by 2025, the Canberra Times has reported. The Barr government is expected to formally make the announcement this morning.
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The move, which will also promote the use of electric bicycles, is part of the territory’s Zero Emissions Vehicle Action Plan. The plan is expected to commit to converting half the government’s passenger car fleet to EVs by 2019-20, with the whole fleet sourcing EVs by 2021.
Under the plan, all new multi-unit and mixed use developments in Canberra and its surrounding suburbs will need to include EV recharging station infrastructure.
"The electric vehicle market is taking off globally and while that is outside of the ACT government’s influence, what we need to do is make sure that we’re putting in place all of the steps to prepare Canberra for the arrival of electric vehicles on a larger scale,” ACT Greens representative Shane Rattenbury said.
The move will also allow electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to use the territory’s transit lanes, which are normally reserved for cars carrying three or more passengers, buses, taxis, motorbikes and hire cars.
Rattenbury said if the ACT Government placed an order for 600 electric vehicles it would be the largest single order for EVs so far, and almost the same number of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrid cars, that sold Australia-wide last year.