Tomorrow’s service stations will be a lot less conspicuous, and they won’t have any petrol.
Blacktown Council is leading the way in Sydney as electric cars gain in popularity, by moving to sign a $30,000 deal with infrastructure group ENE-HUB.
That deal will see the council install five “smart poles” throughout the local government area, in suburbs including Stanhope Gardens, Mount Druitt, The Ponds, Seven Hills and Blacktown.
The stations should be up and running within six months and will be free to use for the first three years, after which a charge will kick in. The new stations will also have free Wi-Fi and LED street lighting.
Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali said the council was moving to fill a void in accessibility for electric car drivers in western Sydney.
“Part of the resistance to using electric cars is that you can't charge them easily, there aren't many places to charge them,” he said.
“If you were to have those throughout the city (Sydney), you'd have more people saying 'I can drive an electric car’.”
Running an electric car costs 33 cents per “eLitre”, significantly less than the media price of petrol which sits at $1.19 per litre, according to Australia’s Electric Vehicle Council.
But sales in the country are still low. Data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows there were 235 fully electric passenger vehicles and 313 electric SUVs sold in six months to June.
There are already three charging stations in Blacktown area: Max Webber Library has two charging points, Blacktown Civic Centre has five and the Rooty Hill Depot four.
Cr Bali hoped that the state government’s regulatory process surrounding the installation of charging poles would improve, after Blacktown Council met several road blocks on the way.
“We're happy to be the icebreaker for other councils who want to do it," he said.
“We feel we've done a big thing for the cause of electric cars in Australia, and particularly NSW.”