The Southcoast Health and Sustainability Alliance (SHASA) is stepping up its advocacy for electric vehicles (EVs) in the Eurobodalla, offering a Nissan LEAF for community use and running an electric-transport and microgrid workshop at this weekend’s Nature Conservation Council NSW’s regional conference in Batemans Bay.
Recently-appointed SHASA Coordinator Louise McFadden uses the EV for her duties and the SHASA-branded vehicle is available for members to test drive. SHASA’s recently-formed Electric Transport Working Group is undertaking initiatives to increase uptake of electric and active transport.
At Saturday’s Nature Conservation Council (NCC) conference, The Fires Changed Everything, Ms McFadden and SHASA President Kathryn Maxwell presented a state-of-play on Eurobodalla transport and discussed the need to transition to electric vehicles.
“Here in the Eurobodalla, 40 percent of emissions (2019) come from transport – this is double the Australian average,” Ms Maxwell said. “As a nation, the fuel we use for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles comes from overseas – $30 billion goes offshore to pay for it and it comes from highly-volatile areas. Switching to electric transport means keeping money in our local economy and ensuring our energy security.”
She adds: “Benefits to individuals are also significant, because EV owners enjoy a 70 percent reduction in running costs and 40 percent reduction in maintenance costs. EVs can charge from a normal power point, from rooftop solar or from a renewable energy source via a green power supplier. We’ll say goodbye to fuel station visits and our vehicles won’t be contributing to air pollution in town centres and around schools, and we’ll all be healthier for it.”
SHASA is lobbying local and state governments to implement measures to accelerate electric and active transport in the Eurobodalla, including removing the stamp duties on EVs (as recently suggested by NSW Transport Minister and member for Bega Andrew Constance); mandating that EV chargers be installed in new buildings and car parks; extending the replacement of electric buses from Sydney to include the South Coast; and installing more EV fast chargers.
SHASA is also working with businesses to install additional EV chargers in Moruya and Narooma. Fast chargers are available in Batemans Bay (McKay Park) and at Dan Murphy’s; and slower chargers at the Train Street shops in Broulee and at MESA (147 Princes Highway) in Bodalla. PlugShare.com lists all EV charging points. EV vehicles on sale today have a range of 270km to 585km, depending on the model.
Ms Maxwell encourages community members to contact SHASA for more information on EVs. “We’re working to demystify electric vehicles and answer burning questions from residents about making the switch,” she says. “We hope the new SHASA EV gives more locals access to this wonderful driving experience. Once you drive an electric car you will never want to go back to a combustion engine.”