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(left) NRMA’s executive general manager (for) motoring, Nell Payne, CVC general manager Ashley Lindsay (holding the charging coupling) and CVC’s mayor, Jim Simmons (fourth from right) are pictured with NRMA and CVC staff at the activation of the NRMA’s fast charging station at Grafton Library. The NRMA says the station “will help drive tourism and open the roads of the Northern Rivers to electric vehicle drivers”. Image: Contributed

NRMA establishes ‘fast’ charging station in Grafton

Geoff Helisma |

The NRMA christened its fast charging station in Grafton last Wednesday July 17, “activating its Pacific Highway route”.

“The fast charger will allow most electric vehicle (EV) motorists to charge their cars in about 30 minutes,” an NRMA media release said.

“Standard public EV chargers take between three and six hours, and traditional power outlets can take more than 12 hours.”

The charging station is located in the Grafton Library car park in Pound Street and is available to motorists 24 hours a day, Clarence Valley Council’s general manager, Ashley Lindsay said.

Clarence Valley Council contributed $8,420 ex GST towards establishing the station; however, this cost was offset with a matching payment to CVC through Essential Energy’s Pioneer Scheme.

The Pioneer Scheme is a “cost sharing arrangement for retail customers who have funded the development and construction of electrical infrastructure assets connected to Essential Energy’s network”.

The NRMA has installed 18 charging stations in NSW.

The NRMA’s executive general manager (for) motoring, Nell Payne, said the Grafton charger would enhance motoring infrastructure offerings in the region.

“We know the Northern Rivers is an incredibly popular motoring tourist destination so now we want to open the region up even further to the next generation of motorists by providing them with the right infrastructure,” Ms Payne said.

“We know one of the key reasons electric vehicle uptake has been relatively slow in Australia is because people are worried there isn’t any charging infrastructure available along their journeys.

“That’s why the NRMA is a part of the solution to that perceived ‘range anxiety’.

“Our network of fast chargers will allow EV motorists to tour to towns like Grafton and know that they will have all the amenities and services they need to stop, charge their car, enjoy the town, and safely continue on their journey.

“Our aim is that 95 per cent of members’ journeys are within 150 kilometres of one of our charging stations.

Mayor Jim Simmons said the new fast charging station fits in with CVC’s emission reduction strategy.

“We’ve also joined other councils in recognising a climate emergency,” he said.

“But these decisions need to be supported by appropriate infrastructure and I am pleased the NRMA is providing some of the facilities we need to help people adopt renewable technologies.”

An NRMA spokesperson said that the charger was available for free to all motorists for the time being.

“In the future, the NRMA will introduce a payment system for non members,” the spokesperson said.

“The 30-minute charge time is an average; it depends on a vehicle’s battery size – It could take longer or it could take less time.”

The NRMA has committed $10 million towards building fast charging networks across NSW and the ACT.

The Grafton charging station is the 18th to open to the public, following Sydney Olympic Park, Wallsend near Newcastle, Jindabyne, Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, Mittagong in the Southern Highlands, Narrandera, Berry, Young, West Wyalong, Bathurst, Parkes, Dubbo, Nabiac, Tamworth, Batemans Bay and Orange.

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