Wednesday, May 29, 2024

East Gippsland charged for electric future

East Gippsland is on the road to being electric vehicle (EV) friendly, with the Shire Council to install seven 50kW fast chargers across the local government area by the end of the year.

Council says the new infrastructure will benefit EV owners, visitors, tourism operators, local businesses and the environment.

Four of the charging stations – Omeo, Bairnsdale, Orbost and Cann River – are already operational, while Mallacoota, Lakes Entrance and Buchan are planned.

Council is also working with private companies to support the installation of additional stations, said Mayor, Mark Reeves.

Mayor Reeves said the total installation of around 14 EV charging stations across the shire will benefit the growing number of local people considering purchasing EVs.

“We have strategically located the stations to ensure they are all within range for local people, and also complement charging stations outside East Gippsland,” he said.

“Having the charging stations available also opens a new tourism market for us. Visitors with EVs can now confidently travel to East Gippsland, and travel within and through our great shire.

“In time, this will mean money in the cash registers for local cafes, bakeries and pubs, and foot traffic through local stores.”

The initiative is part of Council’s ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainable transportation options.

“By investing in EV charging infrastructure and using 100 per cent renewable energy, we are taking an important step towards a cleaner, greener future,” Mayor Reeves said.

Four chargers have been funded by the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) Program Round 2 ($400,000) and Council ($50,000).

Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester said the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program was designed to fund important local projects.

“The Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program is designed to support councils identifying and funding shovel ready projects that will benefit the region,” Mr Chester said.

“More people are considering electric vehicles and having these charging stations in our region makes it a more attractive place to explore and boost our tourism economy.”

A further three chargers will be added before the end of 2023 as part of planned streetscape upgrades thanks to joint State Government Destination Charging Across Victoria ($150,000) and Council ($150,000) funding and will see 50kW fast chargers installed in Mallacoota, Buchan and Lakes Entrance.

At 50kW, a vehicle plugged in to a charger will add about 50km of range per 10 minutes plugged in. The cost for using Council charging stations will be 40 cents per kilowatt hour.

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