ELECTRIC vehicle manufacturer Tesla is busy rolling out its supercharging stations around the region, but one car owner wants to see one built in Wagga too.
Software developer Dev Mukherjee has been driving a Tesla electric car since April and believes the rechargeable vehicles represent the future of the industry.
“If you think about electric cars, if everyone had an electric car, the air quality would just go through the roof in any densely populated area,” he said.
Tesla has announced plans to build supercharger stations – which can re-energise the batteries in their cars in as little as 20-30 minutes – in Goulburn, Gundagai and Wodonga as it seeks to service the corridor connecting Melbourne and Sydney.
Car owners typically have recharge units at home, with a vehicle able to travel up to 500km on a single charge.
Mr Mukherjee believes a supercharging station in Wagga makes sense – as it lies on the key Sydney-Adelaide transit route, as well as at the gateway to other Riverina centres such as Leeton and Griffith.
“Most of the times you’re depending on the supercharger, it’s because you’re on a long haul,” he said.
“If you’re going to connect any of the regional centres going to Griffith or that area, it would make sense to have something. The car goes for 500 kilometres on an average charge, but you obviously don’t want to be risking it or cutting it too fine.”
Greens-aligned Wagga councillor Kevin Poynter believes council should be talking to Tesla and examining what options are available for building a supercharger station in the city.
The supercharger built in Goulburn involved a partnership between Tesla and the local council.
“It’s important we look at those technologies such as electric cars – they’re a way of reducing emissions into the future,” Cr Poynter said.
“We have to look at these things and decide how they work, but we’ll never know if we don’t look at the opportunities.”
Cr Poynter would like to see the electricity provided by the superchargers one day powered by renewables, rather than coal.
Tesla plans to roll out superchargers to all major cities on the east coast next year, but it is uncertain at this stage whether Wagga is included in those plans.