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Mike Stevens | Sep 15, 2009

THE CITY OF ADELAIDE is proposing to install recharge stations at council-owned U-Parks to increase the appeal of electric cars for motorists.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Michael Harbison said that the main obstacle for people interested in electric vehicles is the lack of charging points outside the home.

Mayor Harbison said that the first and easiest step is to offer recharging stations to lease-holders of reserved spaces at council-owned car parks, installing the points where requested.

The news comes only weeks after South Australian Premier Mike Rann called on Holden and its parent General Motors to build an electric version of the Holden Cruze at the company's Elizabeth assembly plant.

For now, there are only seven electric vehicles registered in South Australia; the City of Adelaide is hoping to increase that number with this initiative.

"We don't expect to be swamped with applications anytime soon, but it will come," Mr Harbison said.

Mayor Harbison said that the recharge points would not be a free service, and that there would be an as-yet undetermined cost to the driver.

Ongoing electricity costs would be added to the cost of the space rental.

The Adelaide City Council estimates installation would cost around $4000, but the Mayor believes the charging units could be sourced for under $1000.

Electricity for the charging points would be provided specifically by accredited green energy suppliers.

Adelaide is not the only Australian city looking at electric vehicle infrastructure.The City of Canberra recently signed an agreement with third-party supplier Better Place Australia to build recharging stations in the nation's capital. The State of Victoria has announced a partnership with Renault-Nissan for a similar project.

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