Council adds first electric vehicle to its fleet

Published: 01 Aug 2019 11:26am

Wagga Wagga City Council’s first 100 per cent electric vehicle is plugged in and ready to hit the road.

The Hyundai IONIQ Electric can travel up to 280km on a single charge and is set to save an average of $1500 per year in operating costs, along with zero exhaust emissions and reduced carbon emissions.

The introduction of the electric vehicle is part of Council’s commitments to the Cities Power Partnership program, which it joined in December 2017.

“On any given day, Council staff can be travelling around the city and the region for meetings, community events, consultation sessions, inspections or other tasks,” Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said.

“This electric vehicle will be ideal for the numerous short distance trips for staff attending and is about 70 per cent cheaper to power per kilometre than a standard combustion engine.

“The charging station at the Civic Centre will provide a 100 per cent recharge in about four-and-a-half hours using low cost off-peak power.

“Given its 280km range, trips to other centres such as Albury and Canberra that have fast charging stations are also possible. A 100kw fast charging station can power the car to 80 per cent capacity in less than 25 minutes.”

The next step in reducing costs and emissions for Council will be Civic Centre lighting upgrade works, which were approved at the 22 July Ordinary Council Meeting.

Existing lighting in the Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, the Museum of the Riverina Historic Council Chambers site and the Wagga Wagga City Library will be replaced with new energy efficient LED lighting.

The total estimated savings from the lighting works will be just over $56,000 per year, while the improved lighting at the gallery will also attract a broader range of art experiences and exhibitions.

Outside of the Civic Centre, sporting groups have also benefited from new LED lighting at Harris Park and French Fields. Cranes have installed new poles and floodlighting over recent weeks, with rugby league and softball players already reaping the benefits.

Along with lower power consumption and reduced maintenance, the LED lights attract less insects and have been designed to reduce light spillage on adjoining properties.

Council’s future energy savings initiatives include the Oasis integrated energy saving project, the Civic Centre solar panel project, Tarcutta Truck Stop lighting upgrade, airport energy saving project and the Livestock Marketing Centre solar panel project.