The city of Newcastle and the Port of Newcastle have joined forces to deploy two new public charging stations at some of the city’s tourist hotspots, as part of wider efforts to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.
Two 22 kW EV chargers have been installed next to Harry’s Café de Wheels on Newcastle’s foreshore, a popular location for visitors to the city, and will charge vehicles 100 per cent renewable electricity.
The charging stations will initially free to use, with user-pay fees set to be introduced at some point down the track, but the City of Newcastle council hopes that by locating the system close to popular tourist areas, they will attract a high level of use, drawing visitors into Newcastle.
“We’ve located this facility close to inner-city businesses and tourist attractions in the hope that, like chargers installed in Wallsend’s town centre, they draw motorists from the M1 Motorway,” Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.
“We are delighted to partner with the Port of Newcastle in leading this transition to more sustainable transport, which we outlined in our own 2017 Smart City Strategy.”
Along with the two new charging stations, the Port of Newcastle has acquired its first four Hyundai Ioniq electric vehicles and has plans to transition the entirety of its vehicle fleet to all-electric vehicles.
The Port of Newcastle’s Chief Commercial Officer Simon Byrnes said that the new fleet and charging stations would help reduce it emissions and support wider sustainable development in the region.
“It is a pleasure to partner with the City of Newcastle to help expand its electric vehicle charging network and promote renewable energy and sustainable transport options in the region,” Byrnes said.
“Switching to electric vehicles will save more than 48 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.”
“Port of Newcastle is serious about its commitment to the environment and creating a prosperous future for the communities it supports. Ultimately, we are striving to create a safe, sustainable and socially responsible Port for the future.”
The roll-out of the electric vehicle charging stations has been part of a wider $13 million Smart Moves Newcastle initiative run by the City of Newcastle, with funding support from the federal government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs program.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said that Newcastle residents were embracing the switch to low emissions transport options, with the station becoming the third charging hub installed in the city by the council.
“This third charging hub is part of readying Newcastle for a future in which Australians dramatically reduce their transport emissions by driving renewable energy-powered EVs,” Nelmes said.
“There are now 19 different EV models available in Australia with a typical range of 480km, and we’re seeing more and more on local streets.”
The City of Newcastle oversaw the roll out of two charging hubs in the city last year, which included a 50kW fast charger, and have logged more than 1,000 charging sessions since their installations.
The earlier roll-out, located outside Newcastle’s “No.2 Sportsground”, was paired with 44kW of onsite solar generation, as well as 120kWh of battery storage.
The council estimates that more than 15,000 kilowatt-hours of electric charging have been delivered over that time, which has been sourced from renewable sources.
The council is planning to for the installation of further electric vehicle charging infrastructure later in 2020, and is examining the deployment of electric vehicles as part of its own fleet, and the use of all-electric waste trucks.