The Nissan Leaf electric car.
The Nissan Leaf electric car.

Electric car and charging station to join council fleet

A NEW electric vehicle will be added to one Northern Rivers council's fleet.

Ballina Shire Council voted unanimously in support of purchasing an electric fleet car and for a charging station to be installed at their ordinary meeting last week.

According to a report that went before the meeting, the new model of the Nissan Leaf had "increased travel range, from 170km to 270km on a single charge”.

One such vehicle is expected to cost the council $45,000 while a charging station will be "in the order of $3000”, the report said.

While councillors were presented with a number of options, including leasing an electric vehicle, staff recommended the purchase of one such car and the installation of a charging station.

They also recommended that the council's general manager, Paul Hickey, be authorised to make the necessary budget adjustments in time for them to be adopted at the June meeting.

Councillor Jeff Johnson said he'd long promoted the idea of gaining an electric fleet vehicle.

"It's great to finally see that Ballina is joining a growing list of councils that use electric vehicles as part of their fleet,” Cr Johnson said.

"When you consider that electric vehicles can be charged up from installed solar panels, the actual costs over the life of the vehicle are already less than their petrol equivalent.

"I'm hoping this is a turning point for council's fleet and that all replacement vehicles (where possible) will be either 100 per cent electric or have a hybrid component.”

Cr Johnson said while there had been some rhetoric about the power and comfort of electric vehicle being sub-par, that had not been his experience when he'd tried one out.

"It is a myth that electric vehicles lack comfort and power,” he said.

"With Ballina Council now about to purchase an electric car that will be highly visible in the local community I'm hoping that attitudes to electric vehicles will soon change.”