Georges River must accelerate the installation of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations across the local government area to keep pace with the rapid growth in their use, the council was told last week.

A motion submitted by Councillor Nancy Liu at the March 25 council meeting called for the council to investigate the best locations and funding opportunities for the installation of EV charging stations.

After obtaining funding, the council should investigate working with energy technology provider Intellihub to conduct a trial program of installing pole-mounted electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at locations across Georges River with EV owners to pay to use the EV chargers via an app.

The trial would seek to determine the demand for commercial EV charging facilities and assess the draw from the electricity grid, its cost, and whether other forms of EV infrastructure could be implemented in the future.

In October 2022 Cr Liu called for the council to implement an Electric Vehicle Strategy to prepare the community for the transition to electric vehicles.

This included facilitating the installation of an electric vehicle charging network across the LGA, and the transition of Council’s fleet and lease back vehicles to hybrid and eventually electric vehicles.

Cr Liu said this latest motion was the next step in the transition to electric vehicles.

She was supported by Georges River Deputy Mayor, Elise Borg who said the rate of adoption of electric vehicles in the community is growing every day.

“10 per cent of the market is fully electric today,” Councillor Borg said.

“We need to be planning for EV charging infrastructure now, as it is predicted that in the next five years it will grow to 40-50 per cent of all cars, as batteries and technology get better and as a result EV car pricing will come down,” Cr Borg said.

“Where I work, two years ago there were only about two to three of the EV car spaces being utilised. Today when I walk into the office, over two-thirds of the EV car spaces are being utilised and staff are taking the opportunity to charge their cars whilst at work. This is just a tiny small snapshot of how rapidly EV’s are being adopted when charging infrastructure is provided.

“What this motion does is guide Council to take learnings from other agencies and councils on the best locations for EV charges. For example, the Intellihub’s Council Site Nomination Guidance states that EV charging sites must minimise the impact on residential and commercial parking supply and be located near residential flat buildings or town centres with surplus parking, or in council on-street or commuter car parks.”

Riverwood resident Michael Tang, Sales Manager at Lexus of Sutherland also supported Cr Liu’s motion.

“Last year, Toyota announced plans to annually sell 3.5 million electric vehicles across 30 different Toyota and Lexus model lines by 2030 globally, encompassing hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and full electric vehicles,” Mr Tang said.

“The adoption of electrified vehicles is gaining momentum in the Australian market, driven by rising fuel prices and cost of living over the past years. While we witness more electrified vehicles on the roads, there remains a significant number of consumers hesitant to consider purchasing a full electric vehicle as their next car.

“There are various reasons behind this reluctance, but the primary concern expressed by our customers is the lack of charging stations in public areas. The uncertainty around the availability and accessibility of charging spots often leads potential EV buyers to delay their purchase plans, perpetuating reliance on traditional fossil fuel vehicles. This situation hampers the government’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions goals promptly.

“While I understand that the installation cost of charging stations is a considerable investment for different layers of governments, including local councils, leading by example can inspire independent companies to recognise the business opportunity and follow suit.”

Councillors unanimously supported Cr Liu’s motion.

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