Pure electric vehicles bring green energy to fleet

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SCHHS staff with new electric vehicles

Zero-fuel emission electric fleet vehicles have hit the road across the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) region.

SCHHS Chief Executive Dr Peter Gillies said three Hyundai IONIQ pure electric vehicles and new charging stations at Nambour General Hospital would help drive the state’s commitment of net-zero by 2050.

“As part of the SCHHS Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2021–2024, and as a member of the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Network, transport is one of our key focus areas to provide more environmentally sustainable services and reduce our own climate footprint,” Dr Gillies said.

“The health service’s electric vehicle program also supported the government’s Zero Emission Vehicle Strategy 2022-2032, announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in March.

“These new electric vehicles don’t produce any carbon dioxide emissions when driven; they don’t even have exhaust pipes.

“They are well suited to the distances and road conditions in the Sunshine Coast region, with a 311-kilometre average driving range on a single charge, which is more than sufficient for clinicians to attend clinical assessments and home visits.”

SCHHS Clinical Nurse Kathleen Newton said she used the new IONIQ to travel to Sexual Health Outreach Clinics.

“I’ve driven them on the highway and around town and they drive well,” Ms Newton said.

“I needed a basic run through on how to unplug and plug in the vehicle, and the importance of this, and then I was right to go.

“I would encourage other staff to try them; they take a bit of getting used to because the car slows faster when you take your foot off the accelerator, but otherwise they are much like a standard vehicle.

“The EVs are a great initiative and it’s good to see the Health Service leading the community with EV uptake,” she said.

Dr Gillies said there are also 35 hybrid electric fleet vehicles available to staff across all SCHHS facilities, and 20 charging stations at Sunshine Coast University Hospital in P1 and P2 carparks which are used by visitors and staff.