The NSW Department of Planning & Environment has cleared the way for more electric vehicle charging infrastructure, reducing the number of hoops that owners of car parks, depots and other transport-related locations need to jump through to install EV chargers.
Previously, business and industrial property owners were required to submit applications for planning approval in order to be able to add electric car chargers or battery exchanging facilities to their properties in order to acquire development consent from the state authority.
With the changes to the planning policy, which will allow certain commercial and industrial zones as well as service stations and carwashes to install charging infrastructure without the need for prior approval, deputy secretary for Policy and Strategy, Alison Frame says the department is supporting a clean energy future.
“The NSW Government is committed to showing leadership in the move to cleaner technologies and making it easier for electric car charging and battery exchanging stations to be built across the state is one of the ways in which we can do this,” she says in a press release.
The decision alter the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) Infrastructure 2007 (Infrastructure SEPP) and hence pull the planning requirements was made in response to feedback the department received following a community consultation process.
“NSW is experiencing a record number of infrastructure projects being delivered across the state that will help deliver new homes, jobs and lively communities that people want to live in. We are constantly looking at new ways to ensure smooth delivery of infrastructure,” she said.
Other changes to the SEPP supporting a clean energy future include allowing installation of renewable energy systems using tides, waves or aquatic thermal with appropriate consent, as well as improving public facilities at commuter hubs such as allowing car hire and servicing without consent.
Although electric vehicles currently account for only 1 per cent of the total cars on our roads, it is predicted that this will change dramatically in the near future.
While Jaguar’s prediction that 75% of all Aussie drivers will be driving an EV by 2020 has been met with a healthy degree of skepticism, most analysts agree that the change is coming , and it will be faster than most expect.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.