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Electric Tourist Drives
Charging at Cooma, NSW. Photo by Arthur Hunt.

Clean Transport

Charging Along the Electric Tourist Drive

When planning a trip, an electric vehicle driver must take into account the ability to charge, either rapidly (on the highway) or slowly (overnight at their accommodation), as evidenced by a recent trip to Tasmania. The NSW grant program for destination EV chargers is designed to make that planning easier by building the largest destination charging network in Australia, thus creating “Electric Tourist Drives.”

The New South Wales state government will establish a network of electric vehicle destination chargers at thousands of regional tourist locations and fast chargers every 100 km along major highways. Chargers are also being installed across commuter car parks at stations and NSW transport assets to improve access to electric vehicle charging as part of the daily commute. A list of approved chargers has been prepared by the NSW government in conjunction with the Electric Vehicle Council.

These will be in addition to chargers provided by NRMA and Tesla.

“EVs are growing in popularity and this will help ensure our regional areas have the charging stations needed to welcome EV-driving visitors,” NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said. Sales of EVs have tripled this year alone according to the Electric Vehicle Council.

The EV destination charging grant program went live this week, with $20 million in funding for up to 3500 destination chargers at regional councils, motels, wineries, cafes, and other small businesses. The government is planning to spend a further $151 million on charging infrastructure over the next four years.

“The EV destination charging grants can be used for the purchase and installation of select electric vehicle (EV) chargers as well as software to tap into the smart capabilities of each charger. This includes:

🔌 75 per cent towards buying up to four alternating current (AC) destination chargers per site location

⚡   75 per cent towards charger installation (capped at $1000 per charger)

✅   50 per cent towards a two-year charger software subscription.”

Many EV owners in Australia have taken up the challenge from our prime minister and set out to ruin a weekend with a drive to rural tourist spots. Charging infrastructure is always a consideration for where we visit. Planning a trip around charging can lead to new discoveries. We visit Hidden Creek Winery not just for the great food, good wine, and excellent service but also for the Tesla destination chargers available there.

Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway said, “This will grow local economies and support small businesses in areas impacted by COVID, bushfires and floods.

“The NSW Government is targeting key areas of action to make New South Wales the easiest place to buy and use an EV in Australia. The Strategy includes rebates ($3000), phased removal of stamp duty for EVs, targets for NSW Government fleet, incentives for council and private fleets and major investment to ensure widespread, world-class EV charging coverage.

“The Strategy is intended to increase EV sales to 52% by 2030–31 and help NSW achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Electric Tourist Drives

Tesla Chargers in Gundagai.

EV tourists will be looking forward to the serendipity of discovery along these electric tourist drives as the chargers roll out.

 

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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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