NRMA installs electric vehicle charging station in Batemans Bay

Eurobodalla Shire Council Sustainability Coordinator Mark Shorter, Mayor Liz Innes, NRMA General Manager Commercial Projects Elspeth Cronin, Cr Jack Tait and Cr Lindsay Brown.
Eurobodalla Shire Council Sustainability Coordinator Mark Shorter, Mayor Liz Innes, NRMA General Manager Commercial Projects Elspeth Cronin, Cr Jack Tait and Cr Lindsay Brown.

Where Batemans Bay was once a destination to charge one's own batteries in the coastal natural landscapes, it is now a destination for electric vehicles drivers to also recharge their cars.

NRMA officially installed an electric vehicle (EV) charging station near the Batemans Bay Visitor's Information Centre, the second station along the southern route and fifteenth station in NSW and ACT.

NRMA General Manager Commerical Projects Elspeth Cronin said the greatest issue facing Australia's adoption of electric vehicles was "range anxiety".

"(This is) where people worry about where their next charger's going to be, so it makes people very worried to go on any kind of long road trips," Ms Cronin said.

She said Batemans Bay was the second station along the southern route after Berry. NRMA was installing another station in Bega.

The Eurobodalla Shire Council Sustainability Coordinator Mark Shorter said there was a growing trend world-wide, and in Australia, of low-emissions technology and electric vehicles.

"It's absolutely good for the environment," Mr Shorter said.

"It means people who have an electric car in Canberra or Sydney can come here or transit through with comfort and ease and be able to recharge not just their batteries internally and enjoy our beautiful environment, but also recharge their cars and stop, enjoy the facilities and move on."

NRMA's James Simmons goes through the step-by-step process of charging an electric vehicle at the Batemans Bay station.

NRMA Stakeholder and Community Engagement James Simmons said most EV cars would take about 30 minutes to reach 80 per cent capacity, with a remaining hour charging the final 20 per cent.

He said it was free for EV drivers to charge at the station but a fee would incur at a later stage for non-NRMA members.

Eurobodalla Shire Mayor Liz Innes said the station would be translocated to the new Mackay Park facility upon completion.

Cr Innes said the Shire was a self-drive destination and electric vehicles were the future.

"We have some hybrid vehicles in council's fleet ... but we're looking into the future of getting some electric vehicles and trialing them on to our fleet," Cr Innes said.

"Eurobodalla, at the end of the day, is a self-drive destination, so if they're coming, we need to make sure they're well-supported."

NRMA General Manager Commercial Projects Elspeth Cronin officially opens the Batemans Bay charging station.

Cr Jack Tait said a member of the public came to him with the idea of Batemans Bay becoming part of an "electric highway".

"A member of the public came to me after I'd been elected and he had actually looked at it and the idea of an electric highway which was actually going to link Melbourne and Sydney and further on," Cr Tait said.

"So I took it as a motion to council, it got adopted and then our team of environmental people have started looking at it and chased it.

"Lucky for our whole community and everyone that comes past Batemans Bay, this facility is now here so they can use us as one of their holiday and travel destinations."

He said the station was good for business.

"It can't be anything but a development for our town," he said.

"As one of the gentlemen who drove the car down yesterday told me, he parked here, went and walked throughout our CBD, saw things he didn't really know of, bought a couple of things with the three-quarters of an hour he had while his car was charging."

In response to whether he would purchase an electric vehicle, he said "I think there are powers above who would get one before me".

He said in the next 15 years, over 50 per cent of vehicles would be electric due to costs going down and new technology.

"Hopefully if I'm still around then, I might be able to get one," he said.

"Technology every day is updated and updated. In another 10-15 years, you'll probably be able to whistle to your car and it will come and find you instead of having to walk around a car park looking for it."

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