Electric revolution arrives at Campbelltown as it takes a green leap forward
Photo: The staff from Uniting’s Brighter Futures team taking delivery of their Hyundai Kona electric vehicle
In a groundbreaking move towards sustainability and environmental responsibility, Uniting proudly unveiled its very first fully electric vehicle (EV) at Campbelltown Church, a Hyundai Kona, marking the commencement of a new era in their mission. This milestone makes the Uniting’s Brighter Futures team in Campbelltown the pioneer in South West Sydney/Illawarra to include an electric vehicle in their fleet, setting the stage for an eco-conscious future.
The Hyundai Kona, a compact SUV, is now a part of the church’s pool car fleet, symbolizing Uniting’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint on our planet. This initial EV offers an impressive travel range of approximately 300 kilometers on a full battery charge, making it an ideal choice for local journeys within the community.
The Church and Uniting are devoted to preserving our environment and the Brighter Futures Team eagerly embraced the addition of this electric vehicle to their fleet, part of a broader roll-out planned. To ensure the seamless integration of EVs into their operations, Uniting has also taken the proactive step of installing three charging stations on the adjacent Church premises. These stations are not limited to Uniting staff; there’s even a possibility that church members can charge their own electric vehicles during sermons, highlighting the organisation’s dedication to sustainability and green energy adoption.
The Uniting Church serves the Macarthur area through Uniting youth, family and aging services, employing up to 25 Uniting employees at Campbelltown who work across Uniting Disability and Uniting Ageing services. In addition, the adjacent property houses Uniting Children Services, accommodating another 25 staff members. Campbelltown Regional Mission also hosts various other services such as “Loaves and Fishes” and the “University of the Third Age,” which together with Uniting staff means they have a hundred people a day using the Church blocks.
John Russell, a member of the church, expressed his pride in the church’s evolving role within the community, stating, “This is what a church should be, and we are proud to be a Hub of the Uniting Church.”
Another new Kona vehicle was delivered to Uniting’s residential aged care site at 11 Myall Road, Garden Suburb.
Uniting acquired these vehicles as part of a NSW government tender which was run to subsidise the cost difference between a normal petrol driven car and an electric vehicle for large fleets such as ours. Uniting put forward a compelling business case which highlighted our proposed CO2 emission reductions and was awarded the 8 subsidised vehicles.
Each vehicle saves approximately 4.5 tonnes of CO2 per year and is part of our goal to become carbon neutral by 2040. Uniting has rolled out 27 EV chargers at various locations including at our head office in Pitt Street and the Brighter Futures site in Allman Street, Campbelltown. Uniting’s eventual aim is to build a network of EV chargers from Kingscliff to Eden and from Sydney to Broken Hill, so that our staff can travel to our main sites without fear of ‘range anxiety’.
During the next 12 months Uniting’s fleet team will be conducting a pilot study on the eight electric vehicles before embarking on a full scale roll out. The team will be monitoring the degree of ‘range anxiety’ that our staff might experience while out on the road, how we can reimburse employees who charge Uniting’s electric vehicles at home and looking for opportunities to enable our staff to use our EV chargers for personal use.
As the Uniting Church and Uniting — the churches community services arm — continue the collective mission of compassion and community service, it is clear that their commitment to preserving the planet is now more evident than ever, thanks to these new electric vehicles.
This marks a significant milestone in the journey toward a greener and more sustainable future for the wider community and is part of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT’s commitment through Future Directions to climate action and stewardship of the earth.