Three eastern Sydney councils have teamed up with some celebrity power to launch a network of affordable, on-street electric vehicle charging stations, with another two chargers in the works.
The Randwick, Waverley and Woollahra councils have worked together as the first councils in Sydney to provide on-street chargers, with stations located at some of Sydney’s most iconic beach spots, delivering on a commitment announced in December last year.
“There’s a transformation in motoring in Australia and around the world and the move to EVs start here in Waverley and surrounds,” Waverley mayor John Wakefield said.
Chargers have been installed and are now operating at Bondi beach, Double Bay, Coogee beach and in Randwick, with additional charges to come online at Bondi Junction and Maroubra.
All electricity provided by the chargers will be sourced through renewable energy projects.
The initiative is the latest in a series of moves by local councils to support the uptake of electric vehicles by ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place throughout public locations.
Wanneroo council in Western Australia recently announced it would undertake the roll-out of a network of up to 20 charging stations and the ongoing roll-out of Chargefox’s ultra-rapid charging network.
JetCharge recently announced that it would partner with Nissan to install 89 charging stations at dealerships, to support the launch of the new Nissan Leaf.
Local resident, electric vehicle fan, and host of Australia’s Bachelor/Bachelorette TV series Osher Günsberg was on hand to help launch the new charger network, who now drives his fourth Nissan Leaf and also owns an electric scooter.
Günsberg relished the role of announcing the availability of the electric chargers, which contrasted his usual presenting role telling people they’ve missed out on a change of love.
“Throughout my professional career, I’ve had to tell people they didn’t get something. Now I have the never important role of telling smart beautiful women, and smart handsome men, they did not receive a rose and it would it be best they packed their bags and left”, Günsberg said at the launch.
“But today I get to tell you that many people in this city, including me, do get something that they have wanted. Public electric vehicle charging”.
The chargers were launched by mayors from each of the three councils, who have partnered with JET Charge to install and manage the stations, which can be booked through the Chargefox app.
“Cars in the future, will not only be our main means of transportation, it will also be the main means in which we dispense electricity into our homes, our workplaces and emergency services.” JET Charge CEO Tim Washington said at the launch.
“The days of being able to take electricity, on wheels, from one location to another. Charging on Bondi beach, charging when you go to the shopping centre, taking that electricity home and powering your house with the electricity you got from Bondi beach, that future is very very close.”
Costs to charge vehicles through the stations will cost between 10 to 25 cents per kWh, with variable pricing depending on the time day, with tariffs designed to be cheaper than charging vehicles at home.
“We want purchasing an EV to be a more viable option for people, and our councils are leading the way by providing handy charging locations,” Woollahra mayor Peter Cavanagh said.
“This project is an example of our shared determination and efforts to enact change at a local government level to help the environment for future generations,” Randwick mayor Kathy Neilson added.
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.