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Melbourne Water is leading the industry by transitioning to a zero-emissions fleet within 10 years, as part of a drive to be fully carbon neutral by 2030.

The authority has added two electric Nissan Leaf hatchbacks to its fleet with another on order and two more electric vehicle purchases flagged before the end of the year. The purchase of these new vehicles is another step in the journey to achieve Melbourne Water’s Zero Emission Fleet Strategy.

Melbourne Water Fleet Specialist Shane Mannix said feedback from drivers is overwhelmingly positive and the vehicles are being used every day.

“The support from Melbourne Water staff has been fantastic and everyone from the Melbourne Water Board to our Field Crew members are keen to be involved in the ongoing project.

“We have 10 charging ports installed across Melbourne Water sites with more to be added,” Mr Mannix said.

The latest electric vehicle purchases complement the two Renault Zoe electric passenger cars already in Melbourne Water’s fleet.

As part of its commitment to reducing its carbon emissions to net-zero by 2030 Melbourne Water will no longer purchase any additional combustion engine vehicles where a zero-emissions alternative is available.

The commitment is a first for any Australian water authority.

“Electric only utility vehicles are not yet available, but they are coming. We are excited to purchase these from 2022/3 and we expect Melbourne Water will be one of the first companies to order dual cab utilities in Australia.

“Currently petrol and diesel utilities make up two-thirds of our fleet,” Mr Mannix said.

Melbourne Water staff are encouraged to drive the new zero-emissions vehicles, before taking a traditional combustion-powered vehicle.