The Australian Government has a fleet of vehicles known as COMCAR, which is managed by sgfleet. COMCAR provides car-with-driver transport services for parliamentarians, the Governor-General, the federal judiciary and international guests of the government.
Back in 2021, COMCAR announced an Electric Vehicle trial that included just 2 EVs, a Hyundai Ioniq and a Tesla Model 3. The trial run for two years and operated in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Fast forward to 2023 and it seems the Government is ready to take the next step and invest in EVs for COMCAR.
On May 22nd, The Department of Finance announced they were transitioning their fleet to electric vehicles.
COMCAR undertook an initial desktop assessment of 40 available plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicle (BEV) sedans and SUVs for potential use in a future fleet. Following the initial assessment, COMCAR selected 14 BEVs for a preliminary physical assessment.
Nine vehicles were subsequently selected for practical off-road assessments on a closed-circuit track and on-road assessments in routine COMCAR operational scenarios. The vehicles assessed were the BMW iX40, BMW iX3, Polestar 2, Genesis GV60, Genesis GV70, Kia EV6, Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y and Hyundai Ioniq 5.
While many will debate what brand or model they should have selected (particularly the value for money bit), the decision has already been made and you can read the Commonwealth Fleet Vehicle Selection Policy here.
The vehicles that COMCAR has selected for the delivery of services are:
- BMW iX xDrive40 (iX40) SUV
- BMW iX xDrive50 (iX50) SUV (a longer-range variant)
Delivery of the new fleet is planned to commence from mid-2023 as the current BMW sedans reach the end of lease. It is expected that the new fleet will be fully implemented by mid-2024.
The BMW iX40 and iX50 SUVs will be used to carry out all aspects of COMCAR’s operations including general transport of parliamentarians and other clients, the parliamentary shuttle, and VIP/ Guest of Government visits and major events.
While the introduction of EVs into the COMCAR fleet will initially cost more than that of equivalent ICE vehicles, savings in running costs, including fuel and maintenance are expected.
Today, the Department of Finance released an Approach to Market (ATM) on AusTender for the supply & installation of EV charging infrastructure at selected Finance sites. The ATM will close Tues 25 July 2023 at 4:00pm, responses must be submitted on AusTender before closing time.
This request for Tender, to provide charging infrastructure features locations across Australia, including ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, WA, QLD, NT, TAS. For those charging providers interested, there will be a virtual Industry Briefing via Microsoft Teams on 29 June 2023.
The Commonwealth, as represented by the Department of Finance, is seeking a supplier to design, supply, install and maintain Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Infrastructure at various COMCAR site across Australia, as specified in the Statement of Requirement.
Proposals are sought from suitable and experienced suppliers of EV charging equipment to design, supply and install EV charging infrastructure in stages across a number of capital city sites. Uniform capability in line with site requirements is sought. Post-installation data capture and monitoring is also a requirement.
This is a promising sign from the Government and shows they’re serious about rolling out electric vehicles as part of the COMCAR fleet. With more politicians (i.e. decision makers) riding in EVs, it’ll be a great opportunity for them to experience the benefits of electric vehicles.
COMCAR is introducing EV charging capability in each of its state depots to support the operation of the new EV fleet and to avoid adding additional pressure on public EV charging infrastructure.
More information at Tenders.gov.au