Council fleet goes electric

An electric truck and car in the fleet

Central Coast Council is delivering essential services with a growing fleet of battery and hybrid electric vehicles, replacing full fossil-fuelled vehicles as they reach their end of service life.

The focus is in line with the State Government’s direction and recent $500M budget announcement to support NSW councils’ efforts to support greater electric vehicle use.

Council Director Corporate Affairs and Chief Financial Officer, Natalia Cowley, said Council was keeping its promise to the community to take a hands-on role and work towards net zero emission targets.

“Council is active in its commitment for a sustainable future and we pledged to be a leader in the use of more sustainable transport, which we are doing,” Cowley said.

“In 2019 we introduced the first 100 per cent electric vehicle into our fleet vehicles in addition to a number of hybrid passenger vehicles already in the fleet.

“We commenced design on our first electric truck and were expecting delivery of our first hybrid 20-tonne excavator.

“Since then, our electric fleet has expanded to include the first in NSW, full battery electric tipper truck which we currently use at our Buttondery Waste Management Facility.

“We are also considering potential options to utilise electricity generated from the onsite solar or landfill methane gas extracted from the landfill to recharge this and other vehicles.

“In addition to our hybrid 20-tonne excavator, we have six hybrid electric trucks, nine full battery electric passenger vehicles and 112 hybrid electric passenger vehicles.

This makes up one third of our passenger fleet and means we have one of the largest local government fleets in NSW.

“Each hybrid or electric vehicle has displaced a full fossil-fuelled vehicle that had reached its end of service life and this means that not only are we being environmentally conscious, but we are also ensuring our equipment is as cost-effective as possible.”

Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said the NSW Government’s budget commitment to support local councils and communities in this space was welcome.

“Development of the electric vehicle industry has far broader benefits than those that relate solely to the environment,” he said.

“For example, transitioning to hybrid and electric vehicles also presented us with some great opportunities to upskill our mechanics in ‘high-voltage’ servicing so we can look after the vehicles.

“Battery and hybrid electric vehicles also reduce fuel and operating costs and little to no tail pipe emissions means cleaner air for community members.”

It is important to know that Council is still able to innovate as we move towards financial recovery, and we will continue to do so where there is a community benefit.”

Media release, Jul 8
Central Coast Council