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NSW government pledges $5m to EV charging stations

Charge it up: While more charging stations are planned in NSW, it is currently unclear how much it will cost to juice up an electric vehicle.

Electric vehicle focus for New South Wales government as state election looms

General News logo22 Jan 2019

THE New South Wales (NSW) Liberal government has announced it will enact a new electric vehicle (EV) policy if re-elected in the upcoming March 23 state election, pledging $5 million to building more charging infrastructure.
 
Of the investment, $3 million will go towards fast charging points on major regional corridors as a co-investment, while the remaining $2 million will initiate new charging points in commuter car parks. 
 
Announcing the plan, NSW minister for transport and infrastructure Andrew Constance said EVs are the future and local infrastructure needs to meet public demand. 
 
“Electric vehicles are here, they are cheaper to fuel and maintain, but we need to keep developing the network and charging infrastructure to further drive their uptake,” he said.
 
“More people are embracing electric and hybrid vehicles and we need to do our part to ensure we have the infrastructure in place so that people are confident to use these vehicles right across the state.
 
“That’s why we’re planning fast charging points for major regional corridors including the Newell, Great Western, New England, Pacific and Princes Highways and the Hume motorway.
 
“In the coming weeks we will commence market soundings for charging points to ensure we get the best value for money and identify the right locations by co-investing with industry.”
 
Though who the NSW will partner with is currently unclear, Chargefox began rolling out its EV charging network in October last year in Euroa, with plans to expand five more sites in Victoria by mid-2019.
 
Chargefox plans to dot Australia’s east coast with recharging stations, making it possible to travel from Melbourne to Brisbane in an EV.
 
Meanwhile, Electric Vehicle Council CEO Behyad Jafari said the NSW government’s plans for new charging infrastructure is “desperately needed”.
 
“The policy announced today by the NSW government is desperately needed,” he said.
 
“A mass switch to electric vehicles would improve the lives of every citizen and make New South Wales a better state.
 
“That’s why the electric vehicle industry welcomes this policy as an important first step. It is an affirmation from the state government that a mass move toward electric vehicles is coming and we’re getting on with the job of making sure it happens here sooner rather than later.”
 
The NSW government’s plan will also involve trials of emissions-free bus services – manufactured by Chinese bus company Yutong – and a higher percentage of electric and hybrid vehicles on the state government’s fleet. 
 
Finally, the state government revealed its five-year plan for autonomous and self-driving vehicles that will oversee the implementation of the new technology on public roads.

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