Push for electric cars power spots
A Statewide campaign has identified Mid West and Gascoyne businesses as key places to install electric vehicle charging stations.
The Australian Electric Vehicle Association has teamed up with Synergy to campaign for the installation of basic charging sockets in rural towns so motorists can travel further regionally.
WA houses a small market for the vehicle, but national secretary of Australian Electric Vehicle Association Dr Chris Jones said the sector was seeing exponential growth, with the global electric car fleet surpassing two million.
“We’d love to see more charging going in up north, so we’re particularly keen for businesses, local governments and the like to get in touch so we can help them out,” he said.
Carnarvon Seachange Apartments manager Warren Hatt said he thought his charging station would put him ahead of the curve when the WA market really took off.
“I wouldn’t say we get any more business out of it than we did before, but it means people stay in town a little longer while they wait for their car to charge, so they buy things and stay the night,” he said. “It’s good for us and it’s good for the customer. In the near future when the cars become a bit more affordable and the market grows here, we’ll be ahead of the curve.”
Dr Jones said Synergy provided the sockets free and the average cost an electrician would charge for installation was between $300 and $500, though he admitted cost in remote locations would be higher.
But he also agreed with Mr Hatt on the benefits to businesses. “While getting an electrician to install a socket might cost a little, the benefit is clear when your first customer arrives,” he said.
“They will be at your business or in your town for at least an hour, and will buy lunch, coffee, souvenirs, whatever.
“If it was a petrol station, they fill up and nick off, and you make a couple of dollars on 40 litres of fuel. So the ‘slow down and take your time’ message is a very positive one.”
An electrical vehicle charging port.