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The Australian Capital Territory is stepping up its efforts towards a sustainable future, committing to 50 new EV charging stations across Canberra – triple the amount currently installed.

The Territory’s minister for climate and sustainability Shane Rattenbury yesterday said that 50 new standard dual electric vehicle charging stations would be installed at government sites across Canberra within the next twelve months. It is expected that the $456,000 rollout will be funded by the Territory government in the upcoming June Budget.

“The ACT is again proof positive that local jurisdictions are getting the job done when it comes to delivering real action on climate change,” Rattenbury said in comments on Tuesday.

“With transport is expected to create over 60 per cent of the ACT’s emissions by 2020, mostly from private cars use, we’re acting to ensure that the Territory is well-placed to transition towards electric vehicle use – in line with global market trends.

“As a major employer in the Territory, with a significant fleet of vehicles, it is also important that the ACT does our part in promoting sustainable travel.

“The Government has already begun working with private sector partners to deliver this investment and support public awareness of electric vehicle use.”

The installation of the charging stations complements the recent mandate for all newly leased government vehicles to be zero emissions from 2021 – announced in April as part of what is easily the most ambitious transition plan to electric vehicles in Australia. The announcement on the EV charging network comes less than two weeks after the ACT government ratcheted up its emissions reduction target to aim for net zero emissions by 2045, instead of 2050.

As of last month, the ACT government car fleet had just 17 battery electric vehicles, and 7 plug-in hybrids, along with eight electric bicycles. The Territory has also begun trials of two battery electric buses and one hybrid bus running on diesel, and is proposing 20 hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles over the next two years.