With the popularity of EVs continuing to exceed even the most optimistic expectations – they now make up one of every five new cars registered in the Territory – demand for charging infrastructure is also growing, and not just here in the capital, but on the South Coast as well.
At the end of last summer, this created problems over the Clyde Mountain when EVs bottlenecked in Batemans Bay, jostling for somewhere to plug in before returning home.
Andrew Johns is already onto it. The owner of Corrigan’s Cove Resort in Batemans Bay has installed an EV charger in his car park, and here’s the thing, it’s not just for the guests.
“Our objective from a business perspective was to be a market leader – you could probably call it showing the initiative and supporting the community to go zero-emission,” he says.
“But it’s also to allow people to have accessibility, be they a tourist or a local that might need a charge. They can come in for a coffee while they wait or might stay in the resort. It exposes our brand more.”
In 2020, the Dan Murphy’s at Batemans Bay became the first in the country to install a charger in its car park off Orient Street. A few others around the town are managed by Chargefox, Tesla, NRMA or Evie, but there’s always room for more.
“We sleep about 118 people, so if we’re full, there’ll probably be about one or two EVs in the car park,” Andrew says.
“It’s not high-usage at this point, just based on the percentage of electric vehicles compared with petrol, but it’s probably been used a dozen times.”
Andrew installed his 10-amp charger in January 2023 – “just after the holiday peak” – for a total cost of $8000, including a subsidy from the NSW Government of $3000. Despite the outlay, for the moment, it’s free to use.
“The more we have in the community, the merrier, but we’ll just have to monitor the traffic.”
The feedback from guests makes it all worth it.
“A lot of people don’t say much, but the ones that have an EV are really supportive of it. It also really encourages people to buy EVs too, because that’s been the challenge from the start – accessibility to a charger.”
The site does have the capacity for a second charger, but Andrew says there are “a lot of infrastructure issues” to work through, which he’d like to see offset by more demand first.
Do EV chargers have a stable place in the future of hotel offerings?
“Based on what we’ve seen last summer, yeah.”