Yarra Ranges Council has unveiled its first public electric vehicle (EV) charger as part of a partnership between the Council, Yarra Glenergy and the Victorian Government.
Yarra Glenergy Vice President, Trent Evans said the charger was already getting great use.
“We’re getting about five or six cars through a day, making about $600 to $700 a month in revenue,” he said.
“That money goes to Yarra Glenergy, and the plan is to use it for more renewable projects in the area.
“The big benefit of this for the town is that it brings in tourists. They might be on the way to the snow or Lake Eildon, and they’ll stop here because it’s halfway from Melbourne.
“The shops always struggle to get people to stop – often, they just bypass Yarra Glen. And most people will only charge for 20 minutes, but they’ll walk to a café, visit the IGA and spend some money.
“Hopefully it’ll also encourage more EVs in the Yarra Glen community.”
The 50KW fast charger, uses a load management system that prioritises energy use inside the Memorial Hall. It also uses surplus renewable energy from the solar system on the roof of the hall and is supplemented by renewable energy sourced by Council from the grid.
The charger was jointly funded using Yarra Glenergy’s budget – supplied by Council, following the sale of the former Maternal and Child Health building in town in 2016, and divided into community projects after a People’s Panel was convened – and a grant from the State Government.
Ryrie Ward Councillor, Fiona McAllister, congratulated Yarra Glenergy on the achievement, of hosting Yarra Ranges’ first publicly-owned EV charger.
“Privately-managed electric vehicle chargers have been available in the area for a few years now, in areas of the hills and the Yarra Valley, but I am thrilled that we now have this charger on public land, available at all hours for residents and visitors alike,” Cr McAllister said.
“Yarra Glenergy has progressed in leaps and bounds since the sale of the former-maternal and child health site in 2016, delivering meaningful projects to better the community and help us all live a bit lighter on the earth.
“Solar panels installed by the group on public buildings means that sporting clubs and our local kinder have dramatically reduced power bills. We know how increasingly difficult it is to make ends meet so know this will take some of the pressure off.
“This new charger is the latest in a run of successes for the group, and I’d like to congratulate them on this wonderful project. We look forward to their next projects and we at Council will support them wherever we can.
“For the public, this is a milestone on a long road to having more publicly-available fast chargers as EV take-up increases. If we can provide good infrastructure to make charging possible, more people will stop in to visit our towns and more people will consider making the switch to electric vehicles.
“It’s also heartwarming to know that the price of charging your car in Yarra Glen – which is a fraction of what re-fuelling a petrol car costs – goes right back to be re-invested in the community, which I think is a tremendous result,” she said.