NSW motoring club, the NRMA, has revealed its plans to assist the uptake of alternatively-fuelled vehicles with the creation of a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
The plan provides for the installation of at least 40 charging stations around New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, with a coverage footprint that the NRMA claims will cater for 95 per cent of its members' road trips.
NRMA Chairman, Kyle Loades, said the decision has been made to help the introduction of EVs, which despite several car companies committing to the technology, there is no widespread public charging infrastructure, except for Tesla’s supercharger network that is only available for its owners.
“Our research has highlighted that a lack of charging infrastructure is the single greatest barrier identified by NRMA Members to purchasing an electric vehicle,” Loades said.
“There are simply not enough chargers in public places to make electric vehicles viable for longer journeys and the NRMA’s investment will change this forever.”
“The NRMA’s core purpose is to keep people moving, and this initiative to remove obstacles to the adoption of electric vehicles and give motorists peace of mind will do exactly that.”
Thanks to a strong financial performance in the 2016-2017 business year, the NRMA will have the means to fund the network, which the organisation sees as an important evolution of the motoring landscape in Australia.
“Just as the NRMA was there to help Australia navigate the rise of the automobile 97 years ago, we will be here to help future generations navigate this new era of electric vehicles,” Loades explained.
“There has been under-investment in the electric vehicle market in Australia, so the NRMA is stepping in to develop a network to support the adoption and rollout of electric vehicles in Australia.”
The announcement has attracted the support of the Electric Vehicle Council of Australia. EVC Chief Executive Behyad Jafari said the initiative will advance the wider acceptance of EVs.
“The transition to a new era of fuel-free motoring is well and truly underway,” Jafari said.
“Our research shows that most Australians would consider buying an electric vehicle, but they are concerned by a lack of support from the federal government and the availability of charging infrastructure.”
“The roll-out of chargers, however, will send a highly-visible message that electric vehicles are quickly becoming a mainstream product for all motorists.”