Wagga would gain a ‘fast charging' station for electric vehicles under a plan to be considered at Monday night’s council meeting.
Wagga City Council has previously invited expressions of interest for “a free (electric vehicle) charging station to be installed in the vicinity of the CBD”.
“Upon closure of the expression of interest on 11 September 2018, one submission was received from the National Roads and Motorists’ Association Limited (NRMA) identifying the council-owned car park at 8 Cross Street, Wagga as the preferred location,” a report to councillors stated.
“The preferred proposal takes up two spaces in total, one for the vehicle being charged and one for the charging infrastructure.”
The proposed location is next to Charles Sturt University’s Riverina Playhouse and is near the Wagga Visitor Information Centre and Civic Centre.
If the deal is approved, the council will offer a $1 lease of two car parking spaces for four years with a four year renewal.
Under the proposed deal, NRMA would cover the $100,000 infrastructure cost and the ongoing electricity costs.
The NRMA’s ‘Tritium’ 50-kilowatt charger is designed to bring vehicle batteries up to 80 per cent capacity within 30 minutes.
According to Tesla, which manufactures the most popular electric vehicles in Australia, it takes between $19 and $37 worth of electricity to fully charge one of its newer models.
Wagga Tesla owner Dev Mukherjee has been campaigning to build a fast charging station in Wagga for the past three years.
Mr Mukherjee said he hoped the deal would be approved as a fast charging station would attract more visitors to Wagga and help promote the concept of electric vehicles.
“People driving past with electric vehicles will see Wagga as a destination and other people will start considering EVs as they will see that the infrastructure is there,” he said.
If the station is built in Wagga, the council report stated that “NRMA members will receive free charging with non-members charge at a reasonable cost”.
“At this early stage of the network roll-out charging is currently free to all electric vehicle motorists,” council stated.
The report acknowledged there was a risk that “funding for Stage III Riverside or other development may become available before expiry of agreement necessitating relocation of the charging infrastructure at council’s cost”.
Wagga already has one ‘Destination Charging’ station at the Thirsty Crow, but it takes about eight hours to fully charge an electric vehicle and is designed mainly for use with Tesla cars.
The closest Tesla ‘Supercharger’ stations, which can charge a car in 30 to 40 minutes, are at Wodonga and Gundagai along the Hume Highway.
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