ACT shift to 100% renewables, electric vehicles next…

The ACT is shifting its focus to the electrification of the Territory’s transport sector as the next phase of its goal of zero emissions by 2045, and as the decarbonisation of its electricity sector nears completion.

Climate minister Shane Rattenbury said on Tuesday that the ACT was well within reach of its goal of newly leased vehicles for government fleets to be 50% by 2020 and 100% by 2021.

And he says that early feedback was that electric vehicles were already providing a cost-competitive alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles, as well clear environmental benefits.

In a speech to the Electric Vehicle Transition conference co-hosted by The Driven and RenewEconomy in Sydney, Rattenbury said the ACT’s grid was on track to be 100% renewable from 2020 onwards (in fact, within a few months as the last contracted wind farm starts to deliver).

This meant transport was now the Territory’s largest contributor of carbon emissions at 61% – with 95% of those emissions coming directly from private transport.

“We wanted to do things over a short time frame within our jurisdiction,” Rattenbury said. “This is a transition that is coming and we need to make sure our community is prepared for it.”

Rattenbury said the shift to EVs was already being embraced by members of the public sector, such as nurses, who have access to electric Hyundai Ioniqs as fleet vehicles for home visits.