RAC supports more sustainable transport initiatives for Western Australia

14 December 2020

RAC-intellibus-driverless-perth-transport

Australian ICMIF member RAC has welcomed recent statements by the State Government and State Opposition which support more sustainable transport in Western Australia (WA).

At the end of November, the WA Government announced a new Electric Vehicle Strategy and AUD 21 million Electric Vehicle Fund. RAC General Manager Corporate Affairs Will Golsby expressed support for the Strategy saying it was an important step toward accelerating the uptake of electric vehicles and driving down harmful vehicle emissions in WA. 

“Low and zero emission vehicles, including EVs, will play a crucial role in driving down emissions, helping to improve our air quality and reduce the number of people killed through exposure to harmful pollutants,” Will Golsby said. 

“Australia and WA continue to lag behind much of the world when it comes to electric vehicles, which is why initiatives such as this Strategy are so important in our push for a cleaner transport system.” 

A 2019 survey of RAC members revealed nearly 64 per cent of Western Australians wanted more government action to reduce vehicle emissions, and almost half would consider buying an electric or hybrid vehicle as their next car. 

“Public appetite for low and zero emissions vehicles is clear, but to drive further adoption we need to address concerns such as cost, range anxiety and access to charging infrastructure,” Will Golsby said. 

“Through the Electric Vehicle Strategy, the WA Government is taking positive action toward addressing some of these concerns and giving more confidence to both manufacturers and buyers. 

“In addition to substantial investment in charging infrastructure, it is encouraging to see the Strategy includes minimum EV targets for the State Government’s own fleet, which will help drive activity in the broader market. 

“It’s also pleasing the Strategy highlights the need for a national CO2 emissions standard, something most other OECD nations already have that is urgently needed in Australia.” 

RAC also welcomed a plan announced recently by the WA Opposition which supports electric and automated vehicle technology and more sustainable transport in Western Australia. 

Will Golsby said “The WA Opposition has taken a positive stance on addressing some important transport challenges we face in Western Australia, including the acceleration of cleaner and driverless vehicle technologies.” 

“With human error responsible for the vast majority of crashes, if we can safely transition to driverless vehicles sooner, hundreds of Australian lives could be saved, and thousands of serious injuries prevented.” 

“It’s great to see more sustainable transport options recognised as a priority for our future,” Will Golsby said. 

“More EV charging stations across Western Australia will be crucial to reducing the barriers to EV uptake — with range anxiety remaining a significant roadblock. 

“RAC has consistently called for action to provide Western Australians with cleaner air and access to safer and better-connected vehicle technologies. Recent announcements focused on smarter and sustainable transport are promising and we look forward to engaging further on the details and delivery of these initiatives,” Will Golsby concluded.  

The RAC Intellibus® 

As part of its commitment to sustainable transport and electric vehicle technology, RAC has been working to help prepare a roadmap for how Western Australia can prepare for and transition to driverless vehicles since 2015. On 31 August 2016, with support from the WA Government, the City of South Perth, and vehicle manufacturer NAVYA, Australia’s first public trial of a driverless vehicle, the RAC the Intellibus®, was launched. As of September 2020, more than 17,670 passengers have experienced the Intellibus®, which has travelled more than 26,306 kms in autonomous mode.  

During November and some of December 2020, free public rides have been available in Geraldton, WA, on the RAC Intellibus®. The free rides have provided an opportunity for more Western Australians to experience the ground-breaking technology. 

RAC Electric Highway® 

The Australian-first RAC Electric Highway® features 12 locations in Perth and the South West with publicly accessible electric vehicle fast-charging stations. 

For member-only strategic content on the cooperative/mutual insurance sector, ICMIF members have exclusive access to a range of online resources through the ICMIF Knowledge Hub.

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