In Australia, up to 3,500 electric vehicle chargers will be rolled out across regional New South Wales (NSW). The state government is offering $20 million in grants to establish what they say will be Australia’s largest destination charging network.
NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean revealed that the co-funded grants will rang from $2000 to $40,000 per site for EV chargers across regional NSW. The network should boost regional tourism and is part of a $171 million investment in EV charging over the next four years.
In September last year the NSW government released details for its electric vehicle charging masterplan, which aims to install 1,000 ultra-fast charging bays along major routes. NSW is Australia’s most populous state, but still has long distances between cities and towns. The state’s Electric Vehicle Strategy aims to increase EV sales to 52 per cent of all new car sales by 2030-31, and the vast majority by 2035, which prompts the need for adequate charging infrastructure.
Funding under the state government strategy is now to also include a $131 million investment for ultra-fast charging infrastructure and a $20 million investment in EV charging. Charging facilities are to be installed in commuter car parks that the government says will create “a world-class charging network across the state.”
The electric vehicle destination charging grants will be offered on a co-funded basis for the purchase and installation of chargers in regional areas. These must be able to provide a top-up of up to 130km of range in an hour. Applications for the grants can be made for a range of destinations across regional NSW such as motels, wineries, cafes, restaurants, natural attractions, visitor information centres, museums and zoos.
The provision of charging infrastructure is to come hand in hand with other initiatives. Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway has promised that the rollout of charging infrastructure will be followed by a series of EV tourist drives will promote EV travel across regional NSW. “This will grow local economies and support small businesses in areas impacted by Covid, bushfires and floods,” Mr Farraway said.
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