Knox City Council, located in Victoria, has entered an agreement with Australian company, JOLT, to install more Electric Vehicle (EV) fast charging stations across the community. 

The first JOLT EV charging station will be located on Station Street in Ferntree Gully, and will be JOLT’s first entry into the Victorian market.

Knox City Council Mayor, Marcia Timmers-Leitch, said the agreement to provide up to seven public fast chargers in select shopping centres in Knox would benefit local businesses and the environment.

“We hope that more fast charging stations in Knox will attract new visitors to our local shopping centres and help people make the transition to electric cars,” Mayor Timmers-Leitch said.

On-road transport accounts for 13 per cent of emissions in Knox, so more charging stations will support and encourage people to choose zero-emissions transport and help the community to achieve its goal of net zero emissions by 2040 – as set out in the Knox City Council’s Climate Response Plan.

“When we were developing the plan, our community told us they support expanding our EV network. The network’s chargers will be supplied by 100% renewable power, further reducing greenhouse emissions and helping to reach our net zero target,” Mayor Timmers-Leitch said.

The first seven kWh  — about 15-20 minutes’ charging time depending on vehicle model — will be free each day. 

This allows for 40-50km of driving range, and if people want to charge for longer, it will cost about 46 cents per kWh.

JOLT Commercial Partnerships Manager, Steve McLennan, said research showed customers preferred to charge their cars while visiting shops or using other facilities.

“EV chargers attract new, regular visitors to the area, which is great for local businesses,” Mr McLennan said.

“We’ve had customers tell us they’ve changed their shopping habits based purely on the presence of an EV charger.”

Some of the key inhibitors of people transitioning to an electric car include ‘charging anxiety’ and not knowing where they’re going to be able to charge – so by delivering free charging, Council aims to reduce these concerns. 

“We see this as an excellent initiative that Council is leading and it is really going to set the bar for other councils in Melbourne,” Mr McLennan said.

The new chargers, installed at no cost to Council, are expected to be rolled out from early 2023. 

Featured image: supplied by Knox City Council.

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