Electric vehicle fast-chargers aim to increase Esperance town centre foot traffic
An approved peppercorn lease for two new electric vehicle charging stations in the Esperance town centre aims to encourage travellers to visit local businesses while recharging.
The four car bays to be leased by Horizon Power at Lot 309 on James Street — behind the RSL building — will be home to two fast-chargers able to service up to four cars at any one time.
Shire president Ian Mickel said the council wanted to be prepared for the rise of electric vehicles.
“It’s just part of the planning going forward. Electric vehicles are the thing we’re going to see a significant increase in over time and we need to be ready to be able to charge,” he said.
“People don’t want to be sitting around for a day while their vehicles charge on a normal power point.
“If it’s an hour turnaround or whatever, they get out, they have a look around town, they might want to get themselves some food — beer or a drink — and do a little bit of recreational wandering around town.”
He said people travelling to Esperance in electric vehicles currently had to be directed to the one charging station in the town, which was in an industrial area.
“We want to get this one in the heart of town and make it user-friendly,” he said.
The lease was approved by the council this week and will incur no annual fee for Horizon Power for the next 10 years, with the option of extending it for five years.
The preparation fee for the lease will also be waived and Horizon Power will be responsible for the installation and maintenance of all infrastructure at the site.
Shire CEO Shane Burge said the location had been previously earmarked as a suitable location for future charging stations.
“It is off-street parking, town centre, so people who charge their cars can still access the businesses close by,” he said.
“The shire’s keen and happy to play its part in providing some confidence to people moving forward that there are charging options for them, and confidence for people that want to look to purchase electric vehicles in the future.
“Esperance is playing its little part in that big process.”
It comes after four new stations between Norseman and Eucla were allocated funding in the recently released State Budget, which once installed will take the State’s electric vehicle highway to almost 5200km.
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