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Zero emissions vehicles arrive for Barwon Health fleet

Monday, 07 November 2022

Barwon Health is accelerating zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) take-up by switching to six battery electric cars for staff use at University Hospital Geelong.

Another six battery electric cars are planned to be provided for the organisation’s McKellar Centre by the end of the year, as part of a State Government drive.

The vehicles, available to staff now through the fleet booking system, have dedicated charging stations at the multi-storey car park on Bellerine Street.

Nurses, hospital staff and volunteers will use the Hyundai Kona Electric cars for outpatient work and meetings in the Geelong community as Victoria charges towards a state-wide net zero emissions target by 2050.

Replacing existing petrol and diesel cars, the new Konas have a 480km range enabling staff to make long trips without the need to charge en route.

Chief executive Frances Diver said the vehicles were the first big step in Barwon Health's target to reach zero fleet emissions by 2035.

“We are participating in the ZEV program to reduce our carbon emissions from transport and to demonstrate Barwon Health’s environmental intentions to the community,” she said.

“The other benefits include familiarising and myth-busting environmental issues amongst staff and providing a supply of second-hand zero-emission vehicles to the market.

"By December, the new ZEVs will be powered via the Mount Gellibrand windfarm with the cars running on clean green electricity."

A $15 million investment backs the fleet conversion to encourage uptake of 400 ZEVs and associated charging stations over two years.

To help spark community interest in the take-up of sustainable transport, the Government will make the ZEVs available for public purchase at the end of their lease, according to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens. 

“Barwon Health is an important part of our community and they should be congratulated for taking a lead role in this important initiative. Zero-emission vehicles will make a big difference in creating a healthier future for Geelong," she said.

“This is an important step towards ZEVs making up half of all light vehicle sales by 2030, part of our nation-leading climate action which will see us slash emissions by 50 per cent by the same year.”

In addition to reducing emissions to make our towns, cities and regions more liveable, the ZEVs will also deliver ongoing cost savings due to having lower maintenance and running costs than their petrol or diesel predecessors.

Pictured: Building Services maintenance planner Caleb Hannam with one of the new vehicles.