Push for elec­tric cars power spots

Midwest Times - - FRONT PAGE - Tamra Carr

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.

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