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100 new free EV charging stations for regional Vic
Australian startup Linga Network to roll out 100 free-to-use EV charging stations
28 Jan 2021
VICTORIA’S electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure is set to be given a booster shot over the coming months with the rollout of 100 free-to-use regional charging stations across the state.
Orchestrated and initiated by Australian startup Linga Network, the first stations were switched on today in Hindmarsh Shire in the north-west of the state with the remaining 98 to be installed and live by mid-year.
With the infrastructure costs covered directly by manufacturers, it is then down to participating local councils to determine and provide the exact charger location as well as cover the installation costs.
According to a statement made by Linga Network, the charging locations are determined by community need rather than financial return with no two chargers ever being more than 100km apart.
Designed to simultaneously boost tourism as well as reduce range anxiety among EV owners, the chargers themselves will deliver around 20 per cent of charge per hour, allowing motorists enough time to look around, explore and support local businesses while they wait.
“Until now, charging locations for EVs have been confined to cities and a small number of major travel routes like Sydney to Melbourne, and the market has been largely dominated by private enterprises that operate with disparate and confusing payment systems,” Linga Network founder and CEO Adrian Kinderis said.
“Linga Network’s goal is to break down yet another digital divide for regional Australians.
“We’re overcoming the major infrastructure roadblock to electric vehicle ownership – charge anxiety – while supporting regional communities through tourism, economic activity and a boost to their sustainability credentials.”
There are also plans to expand the program to a national level once the Victorian rollout is complete, however no set timeline of events has been released yet in this context with Linga Network quite content to see how things go at a state level first.
As such, it was no coincidence that Nhill and Rainbow in the Hindmarsh Shire were selected as the first locations to receive a charger given both are more than four hours’ drive from the Melbourne CBD.
Hindmarsh Shire Council mayor Ron Ismay said the initiative had the potential to “change the face of tourism in regional town centres” and that it was an exciting time for the shire.
“We have a proud history of innovation through agriculture and more recently in our sustainable practices,” he said.
“Not only does participation in this program make sense for our local economies, it will play an important role in bridging the divide between metropolitan and regional Victoria and unifying our state.
“It also gives all Victorians a great way to reduce their impact on the environment … we encourage our colleagues in other councils across Australia to follow our lead.”
1769 new EVs were purchased Australia-wide last year, 246 more than the 1523 sold in 2019 (+16.2%) with more and more manufacturers across all segments joining the EV market as global emission restrictions become ever-tighter.
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