Shoalhaven City Council will add three electric vehicles to its fleet.
At the November ordinary meeting, a majority of Shoalhaven Councillors voted in favour of an electric vehicle trial spanning two years proposed by council’s assets and works staff.
Staff have recommended the Hyundai Kona, costing $45,000 per car – $135,000 in total. It is a small SUV-type vehicle with a range of 500km per charge.
Staff reported all electric vehicles are listed as having zero emissions, with the running and fuel costs greatly reduced. Servicing costs are almost zero and in the right circumstances these vehicles could provide significant long-term cost savings to council, not to mention environmental benefits for everyone.
Councillor John Wells backed the motion, which would see Mayor Amanda Findley equipped with one of three electric vehicles.
He reminisced on council’s trial of hybrid fleet cars from 2003-2005. The Honda Prius’ driven by council’s community services staff were not a sound investment.
“The trial failed, but it did deliver a message of care for the environment,” Cr Wells said.
“More than a decade on and the technology has improved. It’s time to show leadership and innovation.”
Councillor Andrew Guile did not support the motion in full.
“The mayor should have an electric vehicle, she has been driving her own electric car for years and it fits the public image expected of her,” he said.
“For council pool cars there is no cost of life analysis that justifies this decision.”
He proposed an amendment to the recommendation.
The general manager undertake a two-year trial of electric vehicles by purchasing one such vehicle for the mayor in accordance with council’s adopted policy.
That the general manager undertake a two-year trial of electric vehicles in council’s fleet by purchasing up to three such vehicles (including one for the mayor in accordance with council’s adopted policy) and report the findings back to Council at the end of each year of the trial.
At the conclusion of year one, submit a report addressing the scope for additional electric or hybrid vehicles.
FOR: Crs Findley, John Wells, Kaye Gartner, Nina Digiglio, Annette Alldrick, John Levett and Bob Proudfoot
AGAINST: Crs Guile, Mitchell Pakes, Greg Watson and Mark Kitchener
ABSENT: Crs Patricia White, Jo Gash