BATHURST is already seeing the benefits of the temporary Tesla Supercharger station, less than a month after it was installed.
The station, located in the car park behind the old TAFE building, became operational on December 21, 2017.
Since then, Bathurst Regional Council has already come across people from outside of the region recharging while they’ve been travelling in their electric vehicles.
Environmental Planning and Building Services director Neil Southorn said these people would have struggled to visit Bathurst without this technology being available.
“Many people are buying electric cars either for the driving experience they offer or as a way to reduce their impact on the environment,” he said.
“However, without the charging infrastructure in place, they are limited to travelling between charging stations along established electric vehicle 'highways'.
“The installation of the Tesla Supercharger in Bathurst is a good way to target a new and growing tourism audience which will allow Tesla owners to visit Bathurst and explore the region.
“In addition, the installation of the Supercharger strengthens the city’s reputation as a centre for innovation.”
Businesses and the economy are expected to eventually benefit from the presence of charging stations as the technology will make the city available to more travellers.
Council also expects Bathurst will become more attractive as a “preferred centre for business investment and relocation”.
“When included with other initiatives under way – CBD wi-fi, smart lighting, launch of the Upstairs start-up hub in 2018 – the Supercharger is an important part of the Bathurst business 'prospectus' and a point of difference with other regional centres,” Mr Southorn said.
Council plans to source feedback from users of the Supercharger where possible to help plan for the roll out of other similar initiatives.
Mr Southorn said council is already considering possible locations for future charging stations, seeing them as a crucial tool in the changing tourism and automotive landscape.
“Council is still investigating the locations that best suit the installation of fast chargers (less than 30 minutes) and destination chargers (two to three hours) to complement those already in the region,” he said.
“For travellers wanting a break, a coffee or a bite to eat, then a fast charger is what they need and these are best located near major roads and near the CBD.
“Destination chargers are used by travellers exploring the region at a slower pace and therefore sites in the CBD or sites close to major tourism drawcards are ideal.”