COMCAR has announced it plans to transition its current fleet of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to have them replaced with vehicles of electric (EV) technology.
According to COMCAR the change will be in line with the Government’s commitment to deliver a low emissions vehicle for the Commonwealth fleet.
It said the coming vehicles are the BMW iX xDrive40 (iX40) SUV and BMW iX xDrive50 (iX50) SUV (a longer-range variant) with delivery of the new fleet planned to commence from the middle of this year as its current BMW sedans reach the end of lease with the new fleet expected to be fully implemented by mid-2024.
“The BMW iX40 and iX50 SUVs will be used to carry out all aspects of COMCAR’s operations,” COMCAR said, “including general transport of Parliamentarians and other clients, the Parliamentary shuttle and VIP/Guest of Government visits and major events,” it said.
It said the process to select new cars for any Government fleet is guided by the Commonwealth Fleet Vehicle Selection Policy, which states that Agencies must ensure the vehicle:
* Is a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) for passenger vehicles, with the preference for a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV);
* Has a ‘five-star’ Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) rating meets minimum ‘fit for purpose’ requirements; and
* Provides ‘value for money’, including consideration of environmental and climate change impacts.
“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,” it said.
“Following the initial assessment, COMCAR selected 14 BEVs for a preliminary physical assessment.”
It said 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.
“COMCAR assessed several factors, including battery consumption, charging capability, vehicle handling, manoeuvrability and performance in a variety of traffic conditions, driver and passenger comfort, ease of access for passengers, luggage space and potential integration with the COMCAR Automated Resource System (CARS),” it said.
“The overall assessment identified the BMW iX40 as the only vehicle that is suitable for all aspects of COMCAR’s operations including general transport of parliamentarians and other clients, the parliamentary shuttle, VIP/Guest of Government visits and major events,” the fleet controller said.