Victorian business and industry will be encouraged to help kickstart investment in zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) and reduce the transport sector’s carbon footprint as part of a plan to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Expressions of interest are now open for a new $5 million ZEV Commercial Sector Innovation Fund (CSIF) as part of an $100 million package to accelerate the transition to cleaner vehicles.
Business will drive the scheme, with the best, most innovative and cost-effective proposals attracting funding to boost ZEV purchases in commercial settings.
Commercial vehicles currently account for about 36 per cent of transport sector emissions in Victoria. The fund will provide targeted support to encourage businesses to invest in ZEV technology by offering grants to eligible applicants.
Fleet vehicles in particular offer a great opportunity for ZEV innovation. ZEVs can deliver operational savings for fleet owner/operators, and because fleets make up around 50 per cent of new car sales, transitioning Victoria’s fleets to ZEVs will really help to reduce our transport emissions.
The CSIF will further encourage the uptake of ZEV technology in commercial settings including the commercial passenger vehicle, freight, service-sector and infrastructure industries.
Grants will be available through an expression of interest process. A wide range of innovative proposals will be welcomed, including trials of ZEV technology with specific commercial uses, such as wheelchair-accessible vehicles, vehicle-charging infrastructure and development and training that will accelerate the industry’s transition to ZEVs.
Earlier this year, the Victorian Government announced that Volgren will build zero and low emissions buses for the new metropolitan bus franchise Kinetic, which will create more than 60 new jobs in Melbourne’s south-east.
The Government also recently announced the $20 million Zero Emission Bus Project to support the transition to zero emissions buses, and has already funded a ZEV subsidy program and more charging infrastructure across Melbourne and regional Victoria.
An expert advisory panel has also been established to advise the Government on what additional new policies, programs and investments are required to successfully reduce Victoria’s transport emissions.