Edition 2: September 2023
Active transport and emissions reduction
The NCA recently endorsed the release of a Community Electric Vehicle Transition Plan.
Transition to lower emissions forms of transport is essential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
While the NCA’s new Community Electric Vehicles Transition Plan
presents a framework for facilitation of the shift to electric vehicles via a
comprehensive discussion on charging infrastructure, it also advocates
for the promotion and uptake of a range of active transport options.
Even if all new vehicles purchased from 2023 onwards were zero emission,
Australia would not be able to meet the 43 per cent target within the
Given the scale of the emissions challenge, a fast shift towards zero emission vehicles is required. And this needs to be more than a transition to electric vehicles. It also needs to include implementation of enhanced public transport services.
A rapid increase in the scale of investment in active transport (walking and cycling) networks is also essential. Electric vehicles may be beyond the budget of many residents for years to come, and infrastructure to support walking and cycling can have a faster, more affordable impact.
A key opportunity identified in the Community Electric Vehicles Transition Plan is the role that a comprehensive active transport network – including walking, cycling and micro mobility e-bikes and e-scooters – can play in creating a sustainable transport future. This includes supporting and promoting the charging of electric micro mobility in public spaces.
We also need to champion all types of active transport and provide the infrastructure that is needed across the whole of Melbourne’s north.
Active transport needs to be promoted and infrastructure provided that will encourage people to choose to walk and cycle rather than drive.
Currently, around 95 per cent of all electric vehicles are e-bikes. And given that
about half of all trips in Greater Melbourne are under 5km (and 30 per cent are
under 3km) there is considerable capacity for e-bikes and other forms of
e-micro mobility (such as e-scooters) to meet a greater portion of trips within
Key to enhancing opportunities for electric micro mobility will be the
development of a network of protected bicycle lanes and paths.
These vehicles will charge at home or work and, unlike cars, do not need a publicly available charging network.
Benefits of using micro mobility are reduced emissions, reduction in congestion on the roads, and more transport choice. Importantly, as micro mobility usually involves physical activity on the part of the rider, there are also health benefits. For example, studies have shown that people using an e-bike gain around 70 per cent of the physical activity benefits of those riding a regular bike.
Six of our Councils have released the Northern Trails 2022 report, which is a
framework for the planning and development of higher-order regional trails
in Melbourne’s north. This report includes an action plan to establish a
high-quality network of integrated and connected shared trails that will link
our communities, destinations, and a diverse range of urban and natural
The regional trail network would provide desirable, safe and accessible
transport and recreation opportunities for our residents and collectively
reinforce our region as a world-class trail destination for visitors.
The NCA will continue to advocate for recommendations provided in the Community Electric Vehicle Transition Plan and Northern Trails 2022.