With international tourism largely off the cards, the Tasmanian Government hopes a new round of grants targeting charging in regional areas and holiday destinations will boost its reputation among electric vehicle owners.
The state government has committed $600,000 towards a second round of its ChargeSmart Grants Program.
Until September 10, organisations like councils, community groups and local businesses can apply for grants of up to $50,000 to install fast charging stations and up to $2,500 for destination charging stations.
Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein said, “we want to encourage even more Tasmanians and visitors to get out and explore Tasmania as we secure Tasmania’s future, and this program will boost our state’s reputation as a preferred tourism destination for electric vehicle owners”.
“When powered by our locally-produced renewable energy, electric vehicles can be cheaper to run, reduce transport emissions and improve air quality”, he said.
Clive Attwater told RenewEconomy the state government’s new grants round is “very thoughtfully focused at regional areas” providing electric vehicle charging coverage into tourist areas along Tasmania’s east and west coast.
Attwater is managing director of Electric Highway Tasmania, national vice-president of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association and a Tasmanian local.
“I would like to see the destination chargers being taken up by major attractions… like Port Arthur and some of the national parks”, he said.
Attwater told RenewEconomy that Tasmania probably has the best statewide coverage for electric vehicle fast charging and is already seeing strong interstate electric vehicle tourism. He said around 40 percent of drivers charging at Electric Highway Tasmania sites come from interstate postcards.
Electric Highway Tasmania received grants for a number of fast charging sites under the first round of the ChargeSmart funding in 2018-19.
The program has so far supported the installation of 14 fast chargers and 23 destination chargers.