Melbourne Water will stop purchasing internal-combustion vehicles immediately where an electric vehicle alternative is available, as part of its move to be carbon neutral by 2030.
According to Melbourne Water, the Victorian water sector is the single largest source of emissions for the State Government, with Melbourne water accounting for 51 per cent of the total output.
Most of those emissions come from the transfer and treatment of sewage at around 84 per cent, while comparatively the energy required to supply water is much lower.
As part of a push to halve emissions by 2025 and reduce emissions to net zero by 2030, Melbourne Water has complemented its fleet of Renault Zoes with two Nissan Leafs. Another Leaf is on order, with a further two electric vehicles slated for purchase this year.
It may seem like a token gesture rather than actually effecting change, but it's the dual-cab utility market holding organisations like Melbourne Water back from reducing their road-based emissions.
“Currently petrol and diesel utilities make up two thirds of our fleet,” said Melbourne Water fleet specialist, Shane Mannix.
“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."
Given the breadth of sites Melbourne Water operates, part of its transition to electric vehicles includes the installation of 10 charging points across its sites – with more to come going forward.
Organisations like Melbourne Water are leading the charge with a move to electric vehicles, and it seems that electric or hybrid dual-cab utilities can't come soon enough.