Charging Electric Vehicles in East Gippsland

Home charging Nissan Leaf with solar

The recent edition of the East Gippsland Shire Council’s Environment Connect Spring 21 reported on the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the district. They noted that “Omeo, Orbost, Bairnsdale and Cann River are earmarked to have electric vehicle charging stations installed using $400,000 in federal Local Community Infrastructure Funding (LRCI) in the coming months.”

Further “In addition, last month Council applied for a Destination Charging Across Victoria grant to install additional electric vehicle charging stations in Lakes Entrance, Mallacoota, Bruthen and Buchan. This program aims to establish a fast-charging network across Victoria, with 80% earmarked for fast-chargers in regional Victoria. With the increasing availability of affordable electric vehicles, this is one way Council can encourage tourism after COVID-19 and support our community to make the switch to electric vehicles.”

It is not clear, but it is assumed, that the Shire will own and operate the new EV chargers. The article added that from next year “this means anyone who charges their electric vehicle from one of Council’s charging stations will be using 100% renewable energy…” due to the shire’s recent Power Purchase Agreement. The obvious advantages of EVs reducing emissions was noted as was the equally obvious fact that most of the charging can be done at home, preferably by solar energy.

The article concluded with the note that “Transport accounts for 17% of the community’s emissions in East Gippsland. Making this shift supports the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) advice that ‘strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change’…Walking, cycling and public transport are still recommended above driving!”

Mention was also made of the State Government’s Zero Emissions Vehicle Subsidy of $3000 (for new EVs only) but did not point out that Victoria is the only government in Australia (or the earth?) to have an EV tax. Since the need is to transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy as soon as possible and a basic requirement for sound climate policy, this is a retrograde step and an indicator that parts of Government are yet to comprehend the enormity of the problem they face.