Friday, March 1, 2024

Wollongong rolls out kerbside chargers

A pilot partnership between Wollongong City Council, EVX Australia and Endeavour Energy has seen kerbside electric vehicle (EV) chargers installed at five convenient locations in Wollongong, Austinmer and Thirroul.

The chargers are mounted on existing power poles making them cost-effective and efficient to install and have no footprint on public land or green space.

Lord Mayor, Gordon Bradbery AM said the chargers are part of Council’s work to empower the community toward net zero emissions by 2050, as part of the newly adopted Climate Change Mitigation Plan 2023-30.

“These kerbside chargers will allow drivers to top up their electric vehicle while they travel out and about in Wollongong and when they stop to support local businesses,” he said.

“Locations were chosen based on localised need, access to the grid and proximity to local attractions and amenities.

“Each charger has two designated parking spaces attached for use only by electric vehicles while they are charging. Drivers must also stick to the signed time limits.

“To assist residents and visitors with the transition, a short grace period will apply over the holidays where our compliance team will give warnings in lieu of fines.”

Data from the Australian Automobile Association shows uptake of electric vehicles on Wollongong’s roads has almost quadrupled since 2021. The 2500 postcode currently ranks in the top 10% of Australia when it comes to new EV registrations.

Lord Mayor Bradbery said it was essential that charging supply keeps up with demand as Wollongong residents look to transition to low carbon transport opportunities.

“Renewable energy is the fuel of the future and when our residents are ready to transition, Wollongong City Council is taking the steps to ensure the charging infrastructure they need is available.”

EVX CEO, Andrew Forster said the project will make EV charging more accessible at convenient locations around Wollongong, helping to further incentivise the shift towards a greener future on our roads.

“While many EV owners have a home charging point, some apartment owners and visitors to our city don’t have a garage where a charger could be installed,” said Mr Forster.

“The five new chargers across Wollongong and its northern suburbs are not only good news for local EV drivers – especially those without access to off-street charging – but it’s also welcome news for visitors over the holiday season.

“With Wollongong and its northern coastal suburbs being popular hotspots for out-of-town holidaymakers and day-trippers, the availability of kerbside chargers will help combat the range anxiety still gripping many of Australia’s EV drivers, which will also lead to a positive outcome for local businesses as EV uptake continues to rise.”

Endeavour Energy’s General Manager, Customer Future Grid, Colin Crisafulli said Wollongong’s first pole-mounted electric vehicle chargers will make EV ownership more accessible and affordable.

“Endeavour Energy has been providing power to this region for more than 100 years so we are excited to welcome this milestone – the first pole-mounted EV chargers in Wollongong in collaboration with the Wollongong City Council and EVX,” he said.

“The rollout of pole-mounted chargers, on existing but repurposed infrastructure makes it easier for people to consider choosing to drive an electric vehicle and will help those living in apartments or renting.”

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