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Adelaide looks to boost EV uptake with new charge point incentives

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Adelaide could soon boast Australia’s highest concentration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, after the launch of a new sustainability initiative that will see at least 40 electric vehicle charging stations installed throughout the city, including 10 charging points in the Adelaide Central Market UPark by the end of 2017.

The latest Adelaide City Council’s Sustainability Incentives Scheme, unveiled on Sunday, will also provide generous incentives for the installation of private electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with up to $5,000 on offer for each EV charging point, and up to $250 for each electric bicycle point.

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Already, Adelaide Council has had four electric vehicle charging points in two of its UPark car parking facilities, which have been providing free EV charging since 2010.

The 10 new charging stations at the Central Market Upark will provide free charging for permanent reserved and casual parkers until at least 2020 and possibly 2025, when it is expected that EVs will be much more common on Australian roads.

The new charging points will also incorporate a smart green parking system that will monitor and match EV parking demand during peak periods, so that the rollout of EV charging points can be achieved without reducing total parking space availability for other vehicles.

The move, which is another step on the path to making Adelaide one of the world’s first carbon neutral cities, has been welcomed by car makers and by the Australian Electric Vehicles Association (AEVA), as a boost to EV uptake in Australia, which has been slow compared to other parts of the world.

“The perception of anxiety about the range of electric vehicles is a huge barrier for many, and is the most common question asked about owning an electric vehicle,” said AEVA’s South Australian branch chairperson, Paul Koch.

“This number of charging stations spread across the city will work at removing this barrier. Our Association strongly supports initiatives like this which will increase the uptake of electric vehicles, and create a more sustainable future. It’s just fantastic.”

Heath Walker from EV maker Tesla said the incentive was a continuation of Adelaide’s continued national leadership with incentives for residential battery storage systems, including Tesla’s Powerwall.

“This important initiative will assist city businesses, hotels and public car parks to bring forward the installation of Tesla destination chargers,” he said.

Mitsubishi Motors also offered its support to the scheme.

“We are proud to offer our support to Adelaide City Council and are looking forward to working with them and their partners to increase the uptake of low emission and no emission vehicles and sustainable transport within South Australia,” said Mitsubishi national PHEV sales manager Craig Norris.

Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese said encouraging an accelerated uptake of electric vehicles was one of the Council’s “priority actions” in its efforts to cut the City’s carbon emissions, 35 per cent of which come from transport.

“Carbon Neutral Adelaide informs everything Council is doing right now – from asset renewal, to our
procurement and waste management,” Haese said.

“Global manufacturers are redesigning their vehicle fleets for an autonomous and electric future and the city is preparing for this reality. It’s about making changes that encourage the take-up of new technology that will decarbonise transport.

“I’m extremely enthusiastic about the benefits that electric vehicles will bring to the city. They are quieter, cheaper to run, and better for the environment.

“History shows that those who act first globally and embrace new ideas or technologies will reap the economic rewards. This is a once in a generation chance to capitalise on future economic growth as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.”  

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  • Martin Winlow

    We (EV owners) don’t want these useless road-side low power chargers. The evidence is clear we don’t because it shows that no-one *ever* uses them. In the UK, dozens of local authorities have spent countless millions on this sort of charging facility and the vast majority of it has been a complete waste of money. If you don’t believe me, why not contact them and ask?

    It’s obvious, isn’t it? What EV driver, in their right mind, is going to leave home on a journey which they know they won’t have enough range to return from unless they can, *without fail*, obtain a top-up charge somewhere convenient along the way?

    This effectively means that street-side chargers are virtually pointless as no-one will risk relying on them to be both available and working when they arrive to use them. What EV owners *do* need is DC, high power, rapid chargers, sited where they are convenient to use especially for long trips i.e. on trunk routes and highways.

    This would give owners of ICEVs the confidence to decide to opt for an EV when they are planning to buy a new car or at least a second car. It is too important *at this stage of EV adoption* to be left to disinterested local authorities and the whim of private industry to implement and maintain such a strategically import infrastructure.

    The other major issue that needs addressing is how potential EVers who live in terraced houses or flats are ever going to be able to own an EV given that charging them at home is currently effectively impossible. This issue, too, is dealt with by a considered rapid DC charger infrastructure.

    On a wider note, some serious thought and some sensible ideas are going to have to be worked on if we as a society are ever going to really move away from ICEVs to EVs. It is time some local authorities tried out some ideas (ideally with local support) to see what might work.

    One option would be to offer to install low power street-side charging points *for those with an EV who want them* either at home or at work. At least then the charging point would get used and, perhaps more importantly, be *seen* to be used.

    If we are truly serious about EVs, realistically we are talking about every street with terraced housing, and every new block of flats having marked parking bays and each bay having some form of charging facility. Perhaps changing street parking to having it all on one side only, side by side in angled bays to allow cars’ front or rear to engage with charging posts on the footway and making the traffic one-way. I don’t know, but this is not a problem that is going to go away.

    • Geoff

      Completely don’t get what you are talking about. You think there is a petrol pump outside peoples terraces houses? you would go and charge an EV for long journeys just like you would go to a petrol station to do the same.
      You also bag out “useless road-side low power chargers”, however you recommend to “install low power street-side charging points”. Where are you going with this? Apartment buildings should have power outlets regardless. Petrol stations will take an DC fast charger onsite if you throw money at them. I really don’t see what the problem is.

      • Martin Winlow

        The important bit that you apparently missed is ‘*at this stage of EV adoption*’. Right *now* those relatively few people fortunate enough to be able to afford and EV, who are equally fortunate enough to be able to charge it at home want a good rapid DC charging infrastructure, not a sprinkling of useless low power street-side AC charging points – for the reasons already stated. Likewise people thinking about buying an EV for the first time. They want the ‘comfort blanket’ of readily available rapid DC chargers to rely on if they get caught short. Seasoned EV drivers know it hardly ever happens but it’s nice to know they are there anyway.

        In 5, 10, whatever years time, *every* house that has a car will need a low power charging point because hardly anyone will own a petrol engined vehicle any more.

        I don’t understand “You think there is a petrol pump outside peoples terraces houses?” Apart form the very obvious, ‘no’, what’s your point? If you are *seriously* suggesting an EV owner would *start* a long journey by spending 40 minutes at a rapid charger you are living in la-la land!

        Flats have serious problems with charging – if you are not into the EV thing you can be forgiven for not understanding. But, eg which parking bay gets a charging point (or just a mans socket)? What happens if someone parks in it blocking it from its EV? How to you charge the owner for the power it uses (~£500 per annum)? Who is responsible for fixing it when it fails? Who is going to pay for installing/fixing it? Etc, etc, etc. Generally, flat-dwellers can forget about charging at home. This will have to change.

        It is not in the interests of petrol stations to provide electricity to EVs! Of course, in fact it absolutely is as no-one makes much money from selling petrol. They make most of their money from selling over-priced other stuff. Unfortunately, no-one running the big fuel station chains has twigged this yet – it’s just starting to happen in the US (thanks to Tesla, again). A captive audience for 40 minutes!

        Hopefully that has helped. Unfortunately, unless you buy and own an EV much of this will appear very odd. Unfortunately all the politicians are jumping on the band-wagon without the faintest idea what they are doing. Cue massive waste of tax-payers money.

  • Neil_Copeland

    Can anybody tell me which car dealerships in Adelaide I can walk into and buy a full EV, ie non-hybrid? Other than a Nissan Leaf or a Mitsubishi iMiev. Are there any where I can get a test drive?