Get used to a new acryonym, ZEVs for Zero Emissions Vehicles, as the energy markets keep up their rapid evolution to renewable fuel sources.
The most recent filip to this momentum comes from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and its new Future Fuels Program that it kicked off with a $127.9 million funding envelope.
The program will be a competitive, open and ongoing program that aims to support vehicle fleet operators integrate Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEVs) into their operations.
The funding is part of a wider program that will expand on charging stations and even an electric bus depot at Leichhardt in Sydney’s inner west.
It’s the kind of investment the industry has been calling for and will be warmly welcomed.
About the new acronym
ZEVs are electric cars that are petroleum free and don’t emit greenhouse gas emissions. Their impact will help reduce the contribution of the transportation sector to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, that is currently at 16 per cent.
Projects and operators eligible for funding include:
- Light vehicle fleet operators are eligible for funding towards charging and electrical infrastructure.
- Heavy fleet operators are eligible for funding towards infrastructure and some vehicle costs.
- Projects that incorporate hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and refuelling infrastructure may also be eligible.
Part of the government game plan for the fund is to drive co-investment at scale in future charging and refuelling infrastructure projects including electricity, hydrogen and biofuels.
Under Round 1 of the Fund, ARENA contributed $24.55 million to five companies for the construction of 403 electric vehicle fast charging stations, the first of which was completed and opened for use by the public on 8 November 2021.
Following Round 1, the Australian government announced $178 million funding for fleet programs, bringing the total to $250 million. This has enabled ARENA to launch the fleet program with a $127.9 million envelope.
“Assisting fleet users to move to zero emissions vehicles means getting more zero emission cars and trucks on the road sooner, driving the road transport sector toward a net zero future,” said ARENA chief executive officer Darren Miller.
“By getting these vehicles on the road as soon as possible we’ll reduce emissions in the short term and help to create a market for second hand vehicles in the future, giving more consumers the option of switching to a ZEV with their next vehicle purchase.”
“More than 400 public fast charging stations for electric vehicles are being built across the country. We’re confident the Future Fuels Program will continue that great work and drive down Australia’s transport emissions.”
In October last year, ARENA announced funding for Transgrid to develop an electric bus depot in Leichhardt NSW in a joint venture with UK energy company Zenob? Energy.
Future targeted funding rounds will focus on expanding the electric vehicle public charging network, including smart chargers in households, and to regional areas.For more information on the Future Fuels Fund and the Future Fuels Program including program guidelines and how to apply, visit ARENA’s funding page.