The Noosa Shire Council has recently unveiled two new additions to its fleet of vehicles, replacing a diesel ute and a petrol car with two new electric vehicles (EVs). The new Hyundai IONIQ and the MG ZS EV are just part of the council’s commitment to reaching net-zero emissions in 2026. With solar-powered EV chargers already in place at the council admin building and Tewantin and the Noosaville depot, the two new vehicles will be almost exclusively charged with free energy from the sun.
Why the change?
Essentially, the move to introduce EVs is all about reducing emissions. There are 85 vehicles in the overall fleet, and replacing two with EVs is just the beginning. Most council vehicles travel around 20,000kms per year, which results in a hefty fuel bill and considerable reliance on fossil fuels. That’s something the Noose Shire Council aims to change.
The council already has 3 Toyota Prius C hybrid vehicles in its fleet, so this switch to full EVs is the next logical step. With EV chargers already in place, the council is looking at other ways they can keep its electric vehicles topped up. One of these options may be solar carports that can capture solar energy during the day and store it for charging purposes in the evening.
An ongoing commitment to renewables
In 2016, Noosa Shire Council released its Zero Emission Noosa (ZEN) plan, aiming to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2026. They were also an inaugural member of the Climate Council’s Cities Power partnership, and were even the first council in Queensland to declare a climate emergency.
As a result, EVs are just a small part of the council’s commitment to net-zero emissions. It already has over 600kW of solar PV installed across multiple council-owned and operated buildings in the region. Plus, there are plenty more to come.
Noosa leading the way on solar
Across the Noosa region, residential solar installations are present in around 47.5% of existing dwellings. When compared to the state-wide figure of 41.2%, Noosa residents are taking up the charge in the state’s commitment to reduce emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.
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