Electric vehicles hit the road as Lake Mac plugs in new charging strategy

Plant and Fleet Coordinator Glenn Hattander with the new Ioniq EVs.

Lake Macquarie City Council has flicked the switch on a new EV charging strategy, with four  new fully electric fleet cars indicating a move towards the City’s electric future.

Council voted unanimously on Monday night to adopt a new Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy, which provides a framework to install EV charging stations at key locations across Lake Macquarie.

Under the strategy some stations will be installed and maintained by Council while private enterprises will roll out others.

Manager Environmental Systems Tim Browne said electric vehicle sales tripled in 2019 in Australia, while the sale of combustion engine cars fell by almost eight per cent.

Passenger vehicles are expected to undergo a major global shift towards electric over the next 20 years and we need to be prepared for that future,” Mr. Browne said.

While combustion engine vehicles still comprised the vast majority of car sales, a continued trend towards electric was inevitable.

Australia now relies wholly on overseas manufacturers for our vehicle supply, and across the board those companies are shifting their focus to electric vehicle design and production.”

Each of Council’s new Hyundai Ioniqs features eye-catching Lake Mac livery and has a range of more than 300km on a single charge.

Combined, the four vehicles will reduce Council’s vehicle CO2 emissions by 5000kg a year, with each requiring about 12 hours on a home charger to recharge. The internal battery requires about four hours to recharge to 80 per cent on a Level Two charge station..

Plant and Fleet Coordinator Glenn Hattander said Council was committed to the electrification of its fleet.

This will be a gradual transition, but as EV technology advances, prices drop and choices expand, the switch to fully electric becomes increasingly viable,” Mr. Hattander said. 

In the interim, Council is transitioning its passenger vehicle fleet to hybrid petrol/electric vehicles.”

Council has also upgraded the EV charging station at its Speers Point administration building. The station will soon be open to the public during business hours.