Wollondilly to house electric car charging stations

Electric car chargers installed in Newcastle. Picture: Simone De Peak
Electric car chargers installed in Newcastle. Picture: Simone De Peak

Wollondilly will soon be a prime destination for electric car drivers with the council committing to install charging stations in the shire.

Wollondilly councillors voted unanimously at this week’s council meeting to work with the NRMA to construct the charging stations in the first half of next year.

Councillor Blair Briggs first suggested the idea in March and is glad to see it come to fruition.

“I’m thrilled we’re going ahead,” he said.

“It is complementary to our work with the Smart Shire Strategy.

“Once we get the facilities in, it will be a matter of ‘build it and they will come’.

“We will be able to promote with pride the fact that we have an electric vehicle charger.”

The chargers allow people with electric or hybrid vehicles to recharge their cars before setting off for their next trip.

Cr Briggs said the chargers were not likely to be used by Wollondilly residents, but by tourists visiting the shire.

“People who own electric cars can suffer from range anxiety, which is where they worry about whether or not they have enough charge to get home,” he said.

“Tesla electric cars are top of the line and typically have about 300-500 kilometres worth of charge, but your more affordable brands like Nissan and Mitsubishi are roughly 135 kilometres.

“So if people are visiting the shire from Sydney, they don’t have to worry about not making it home.

“They can drop their car off, and spend some time looking at our wonderful retailers.”

The charging station will be installed on land at Walton Street, Picton.

Councillor Noel Lowry said Wollondilly was stepping into the future with the new chargers.

“Electric autonomous vehicles have been identified as big game changers and disrupters of our economy,” he said.

“It’s obvious that within three to four years they will be popping up everywhere, and all we’re doing is getting in early.

“This puts our little shire on the map and gets us going.”

Mayor Judith Hannan said she though the chargers were a “really good motion” and the council needed to “shift in this direction” in years to come.

Councillor Matt Gould was also supportive of the new stations.

“I think it is fantastic from a tourism perspective,” he said.

“Anything that brings tourism to the area is most welcome and the type of person who drives a Tesla is likely to have disposable income to spend on fantastic products we have in the area.

“Electric cars are the future – there’s not much debate on that at this point.”

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