An electric vehicle charging station
At least 1500 destination chargers are expected to be established in NSW tourist hotspots. Image by Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS
  • economy, business and finance

EV tourist drives touted as 1500 chargers roll out

Luke Costin November 3, 2023

Drivers will be able to eat, drink and gaze their way along electric vehicle-specific tourist drives once hundreds of destinations chargers are rolled out across NSW.

At least 1500 destination chargers are expected to be established in tourist hotspots to boost charging infrastructure in regional towns.

Wineries, restaurants, zoos and museums are among the businesses and council areas being offered 75 per cent off the cost of setting up chargers.

Once the chargers are rolled out, a series of EV tourist drives will be developed to promote electric travel across NSW.

The $10 million government program coincides with electric vehicles making up 10.6 per cent of new passenger and SUV car sales this year.

But recent research suggests those numbers would accelerate if consumer concerns about the number of chargers were alleviated.

Premier Chris Minns will launch the program on Friday from the mid north coast beyond the limit of most electric cars’ battery range.

“Providing EV charging plugs at regional destinations across our state will help make ‘range anxiety’ a concern of the past and give more drivers to confidence to make EV purchases,” he said in a statement.

“More EVs on the roads is an important part of the decarbonisation of our transport system and essential to meeting our net zero by 2050 target.”

The program is part of the state’s strategy to have EVs make up more than half of all car sales by 2031.

“Increasing the number of EV chargers across regional NSW is a win for the environment, a win for EV drivers, a win for tourists and a win for regional businesses,” Energy Minister Penny Sharpe said in a statement.

Regional businesses and councils, including those in Newcastle and Wollongong, can apply for help with up to four chargers from Friday afternoon.

The program is part of a $209 million investment in NSW charging infrastructure, including $10 million to retrofit apartments with EV chargers and $149 million for ultra-fast charging infrastructure.

An additional $260 million in the budget will underpin the rollout of a new statewide EV strategy.

However, the investments come at the cost of up to $5540 in bonuses for those switching to electric.

An exemption from stamp duty for vehicles priced under $78,000 and a $3000 rebate for new EVs will be cut from January 1.

Those who have purchased or have a deposit down before year-end can still access the bonuses regardless of when delivery occurs.