Lake Macquarie City Council, in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, has voted to adopt a new Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy which provides a framework to install EV charging stations across the council.
The Lake Macquarie City Council already boasts four new EVs in its fleet, indicating what the council believes is “a move towards the City’s electric future,” and earlier this month the Council voted unanimously to adopt a new strategy to further the development of EV charging stations.
The strategy will see the Council install and maintain some charging stations, while others will be installed and maintained by private enterprises.
“Passenger vehicles are expected to undergo a major global shift towards electric over the next 20 years and we need to be prepared for that future,” said Tim Browne, the council’s manager for environmental systems in a statement.
“Australia now relies wholly on overseas manufacturers for our vehicle supply, and across the board those companies are shifting their focus to electric vehicle design and production.”
Four Hyundai Ioniqs serve as the basis for the Lake Macquarie City Council’s fleet of EVs, boasting the Lake Macquarie livery and a range of over 300 kilometres on a single 12-hour home charge, or four hours to recharge to 80% on a Level Two charge station. Together, the four vehicles will reduce the Council’s vehicle CO2 emissions by 500kg/year.
“This will be a gradual transition, but as EV technology advances, prices drop and choices expand, the switch to fully electric becomes increasingly viable,” said Plant and Fleet Coordinator Glenn Hattander. “In the interim, Council is transitioning its passenger vehicle fleet to hybrid petrol/electric vehicles.”
A draft version of the Council’s Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy was originally announced in September of 2019 as a means to “address a critical shortage of publicly available charging stations across the City – cited as a significant barrier to EV uptake by local residents and businesses.”
“Council will kick-start this new charging network, with other industry partners taking the lead once momentum builds,” Browne was quoted as saying when the draft strategy was released in September.
“All indicators point towards an increasingly electric future on our roads, and we need to start preparing now to ensure we are ready for this change.”
Potential locations for the new EV charging stations include the City suburbs of Charlestown, Glendale, Morisset and other economic centres throughout the City.
“Locations are yet to be finalised, but it makes sense to install this infrastructure in the busiest parts of our City,” Browne said, with train stations and shopping centres being considered as possible sites for Level Two charging stations.
The City Council has already begun upgrading the EV charging station at its Speers Point administration building which the Council said in early March would soon be open to the public during business hours.