Inner West Independent

Two inner Sydney councils approve moves for electric vehicle charging stations

Inner West and Waverley Councils will look into increasing public electric vehicle charging stations. Photo: Jamie Parker.

By PATRICK MCKENZIE

Inner West and Waverley Councils will look into providing more public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in their areas, following successful motions at recent council meetings.

At an Inner West Council meeting this month, councillors unanimously passed a motion proposing an EV charging station pilot program across council-managed public parking areas.

The Electric Vehicle Encouragement Strategy & Action Plan was moved by Labor councillor Chloe Smith and will broadly encourage further uptake of EVs to reduce emissions.

“Many Inner West residents are climate conscious and have the means to invest in cleaner, greener technology. This pilot will identify locations of highest demand and greatest accessibility across the LGA, paving the way for a big expansion of public charging infrastructure,” Cr Smith said.

Chloe Smith. Photo: Facebook.

“Council must do its fair share in combating the climate crisis. By partnering with providers and experts in the field, we will ensure that Council is heading in the right direction.”

Specifics include the installation of at least two EV charging stations located in council-managed public parking areas in partnership with providers of EV charging infrastructure, a 12-month trial installation of one EV public charging station per ward and holding an Electric Vehicle Summit in partnership with the Electric Vehicle Council.

Council will also facilitate the installation of private charging stations where possible.

Public engagement on the strategy will occur across July and August, with a final report and recommendations to be presented to council between September and October.

“Residents across the Inner West are calling out for electric vehicle charging stations … conducting a pilot of EVs now will help fast-track Council’s EV infrastructure and provide valuable learnings for the EV Strategy,” Greens councillor Justine Langford said.

Encouraging greater EV uptake and holding an electric vehicle summit are both part of Council’s priorities for a ‘Greener Healthier Inner West’ under the Draft Community Strategic Plan and Operational Plan and Budget 2022-2023.

Cr Smith’s motion noted that Australia trails behind other developed countries in EV uptake, in part due to the lack of EV infrastructure such as public charging stations.

Recent data analysis by The Sydney Morning Herald showed that 192 postcodes in Greater Sydney did not have any public charging points at the start of 2022.

Data also showed that the availability of EV charging points doesn’t necessarily correlate to areas where the vehicles themselves are located. Canterbury-Bankstown had the most passenger EVs in the state at 5105, followed by Blacktown with 3642.

Electric vehicle chargers at Eastgate car park 

In Waverley, at a council meeting this month, councillors voted unanimously to investigate opportunities to increase the number of EV chargers in the Eastgate Bondi Junction car park and other locations in the Waverley area.

While the attachments to the motion remained confidential under the Local Government Act 1993, council has, subject to technical constraints and the support of the Eastgate Cost Share Committee, agreed to enter into a licence agreement with Tesla to install six EV ultra-fast chargers in the car park.

It also authorised the General Manager to finalise negotiations and execute the relevant licences, with a report to be prepared for council within 12 months.

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