Hospital’s Green Machines Driving Future Health Benefits

01 November 2022

Barwon Health is accelerating zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) take-up by switching to six battery electric cars for use by staff at the University Hospital Geelong, as part of a statewide Andrews Labor Government drive.

Another six battery electric cars are planned to be provided for the organisation’s McKellar Centre by the end of the year.

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.

The Labor Government’s fleet conversion is backed by a $15 million investment 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.

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 – the Barwon Health vehicles have dedicated charging stations at University Hospital Geelong.

The hospital is operated by Barwon Health – Victoria's largest regional health care provider with 21 sites – a key health care provider across Geelong with services ranging from hospital treatment, rehabilitation, maternity, aged care, community and mental health.

Barwon Health has a target to reach zero fleet emissions by 2035. By December the new ZEVs will be powered via the Mount Gellibrand windfarm with the cars running on clean green electricity.

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.

Victorian-based industry expert JET Charge is fast-tracking the government fleet’s transition as the contractor supplying and installing the charging infrastructure. The 7kW charging stations are manufactured in Victoria.

The Government has also invested $19 million in grants to expand the publicly accessible fast-charging network, with new fast charging stations being installed at Lorne, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet and Winchelsea.

Under the Government’s $100 million ZEV Roadmap, more than 5,000 Victorians have taken up subsidies of $3,000 on the purchase of eligible ZEVs with sales in 2021 jumping by 310 per cent.

Quotes attributable to Assistant Treasurer Danny Pearson

“We’re supporting health care providers to drive towards a zero-emissions future, protecting the environment and saving money that can be put back into the community.”

“It’s great that a Victorian company in JET Charge is rolling out the chargers and supporting local jobs.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio

“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.”

Quote attributable 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.”

Quotes attributable to Barwon Health Chief Executive Frances Diver

“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.”

“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.”

Reviewed 01 November 2022

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