The Victorian state government of Australia will spend $15 million on a fleet of 400 zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) for use by 2023 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 for Victoria.
ZEVs are considered the cleaner alternative to cars that consume petrol as they run on electricity or hydrogen and therefore do not emit greenhouse gases from their tailpipes. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are run by a rechargeable battery, and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) combust hydrogen to emit water vapour.
With the transport sector currently accounting for 25 percent of the state’s total carbon emissions, the introduction of ZEVs is expected to result in a reduction of net carbon emission as well as air and noise pollution.
The state’s Assistant Treasurer Danny Pearson said in a release that “electric and zero-emissions vehicles are the future of transport” and the Victorian government was “paving the way” with its soon-to-come fleet of government vehicles.
“These vehicles are part of our transition away from combustion powered vehicles to zero-emission vehicles and a clean energy future that’s better for health and our environment,” he said.
The funding for ZEVs is part of Victoria’s 100 million funding for the Zero Emissions Vehicle Roadmap (pdf) aiming to increase the consumption of ZEVs.
Stage one of this program will entail 75 cars being replaced by ZEVs by June 30, with 325 replacements in the second stage by June 30, 2023.
The Victorian government, under Labor Premier Daniel Andrews, aims to have ZEVs make up 50 percent of all new small vehicle sales by 2030, an expectation echoed by the Queensland Labor government.
Currently, more than 100 ZEVs have already being ordered for the 2021-22 financial year with the first fleet already in use by Victorian government departments and agencies.
Of the $100 million investment into the roadmap, $20 million will be invested for a ZEV public transport bus trial, while $19 million has also been rolled out for power charging infrastructure across the state.
Power Supply Not Addressed
The source of energy to power the vehicles, however, has not been addressed with electricity from the grid expected to be the primary source for EV.
According to the Victorian Renewable Energy Target Progress report (pdf) from the 2020-21 period, 70.1 percent of Victorian’s electricity are generated from coal and gas with 29.5 percent of electricity generated from renewable sources.
And whilst the majority of Australian EV owners charge their cars from home, the proportion of Australians using renewable energy has not been properly investigated.
The state’s final roadmap also leans towards BEVs rather than FCEV due to the lower efficiency in generating hydrogen fuel, global demands, and readiness of infrastructure.
Toyota opened the state’s first hydrogen fuelling station in Melbourne with light passenger FCEVs currently being trialled in Australia.
There are currently 536 charging points in Victoria with 86 DC chargers and 450 AC chargers.