The peak body for carparks has written to Energy Minister Chris Bowen requesting a meeting to discuss a partnership for the development of a new tool to determine which carparks would be ideal for installing electrical vehicle chargers.
Parking Australia chief executive Stuart Norman said it was critical for government to “not just install EV chargers but to ensure … they are linked to existing parking technology”, including in off-street locations such as carparks.
“The majority of people will charge their vehicles at home in their driveways or garages, but for those without this ability we need to ensure that they have access to public on and off-street charging,” he said. “It’s important that there is publicly accessible charging capability. Much of this will be in parking spaces.”
Mr Norman argued a sensible and evidence-based approach to the rollout of EV charging stations was critical or the government could risk encouraging dodgy operators into market and run the risk of chargers being located in illogical locations.
“There are countless examples of governments, while well intentioned, distorting a market by providing financial incentives to both the public and private sector,” Mr Norman said. “This has not only distorted the market but attracted many who are just trying to make a quick buck.
“We are hopeful that the current government will not make the same mistakes made in the past with programs such as Pink Batts, solar PV subsidies and or even the baby bonus.”
In his August 10 letter to Mr Bowen, Mr Norman warned that one of the hurdles that off-street carparking owners and operators would face was “knowing the electrical capabilities of their carparks”.
“At present, carpark operators are looking at around $750 per site for an electrical inspection just to know if a carpark might be currently suitable for EV chargers or if major electrical enhancements need to be undertaken to enable their installation,” he said.
“Parking Australia would like to discuss with you about the possibility of partnering with the federal government to develop an electrical infrastructure assessment tool which carpark owners and operators could utilise to overcome this initial barrier.
“Having spoken with members, they are of the view that such a tool would assist them to take the first step in understanding the electrical infrastructure of their carparks.
“For some carpark operators this would save them hundreds of thousands of dollars and would also encourage them to proceed to installing EV chargers at suitable locations much sooner.”
The proposal comes after Mr Bowen declared it was the right time for a national discussion on the introduction of vehicle fuel efficiency standards to lift the supply of electric cars and help drive down Australia’s emissions.
Mr Bowen used an address to the National Electric Vehicle Summit in Canberra on Friday to announce the release of a discussion paper for an EV strategy.
The paper, to be unveiled in coming weeks, will be subject to a widespread consultation process with feedback sought from industry, unions and consumer bodies.
Mr Norman said identifying the best locations for chargers would help fast track the transition to electric vehicles and that he had recently examined European approaches to the issue.
Extracted from The Australian