Nambucca Heads locations put forward on grant application for EV chargers

Gordon Park is one of the Council’s preferred locations for an EV charging station. Photo: Nambucca Valley Council.

NAMBUCCA Valley Council has made a grant application through the Clean Energy Committee for the installation of electric vehicle (EV) chargers at two locations in Nambucca Heads.

Councillors voted at last Thursday’s meeting to install EV chargers at Nambucca Heads Library and at either Bellwood Park or Gordon Park subject to further technical investigations on the power supply and the grant being approved.

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Currently in the vicinity of Nambucca Heads, there are two wall-mounted chargers at Nambucca Plaza available for public use, however they are restricted to Tesla vehicles and are slower than what Council is asking to install.

The existing chargers typically add 30-130 km of range per hour.

One additional faster charging station is operated by BP Pulse at the Nambucca Heads BP station on the highway.

A typical charge duration of between 40 and 60 minutes at this charger will charge an average passenger car from 20 percent to 80 percent.

According to a report delivered at the meeting, an electrician was contracted to complete a report on several locations across the Nambucca Valley and their suitability for installation of more EV chargers for public use.

It is believed greater EV charger accessibility will attract more visitors to the area.

Other locations considered included the privately owned carpark of an Indian restaurant on the corner of Wellington Parade and Bowra Street, the toilet block in Fletcher Street and the Reedy Street car park.

Considerations such as an off-street parking bay, the potential trip hazard of charging cords and most-importantly, availability of a three-phase high voltage power supply, were examined for each location.

Councillors noted that future investigations will centre around locations available in Macksville and Scotts Head.

Currently there is a fast charger available for two cars at a time at the Ampol Station in Macksville, operated by the Evie network of charging stations.

No stations are listed on the popular PlugShare app for a publicly available charging station in the tourist hot-spot of Scotts Head.

Councillor James Angel brought up the possibility of installing pole-mounted chargers as a solution to increasing the infrastructure of the fledgling EV market.

“I’ve come across an article about EV stations being directed to power poles and it saved a lot of infrastructure costs.

“Obviously there are power poles everywhere and rather than taking up car parks in tourist hotspots (this may be a solution to consider),” he said.

The acting General Manager agreed to look into this and get back to all councillors with his findings.

According to their website, EVX is one company who provides pole-mounted chargers as an affordable, lower impact solution for councils looking to encourage the uptake of EVs.

In partnership with EVX, Ausgrid announced in December 2022 it would be installing 30,000 pole-mounted chargers across Australia by 2030, with the first one opening in Merewether, Newcastle.

To date, only 20 such pole-mounted chargers across NSW appear to be up and running, mainly around the Sydney area and one in Byron Bay.

All of these chargers are middle of the range in speed at 22kW (Level 2 chargers).

It is possible that the uncertainty of finding them free and in working order, as well as the time taken to fully charge a car on them (around four hours) may mean these chargers are less likely to be used by tourists where the fear of being stranded somewhere is ever-present for many drivers.

PlugShare, the mobile phone app mentioned above, is commonly used by travellers with EVs and it seems to confirm this as the Merewether charger has had only a handful of check-ins this year while Macksville, most commonly used by travellers, has had close on 1000 check-ins on the app since February of this year.

EVX management did not respond to NOTA requests for comment in time for publication.

“The uncertainty of finding a fast charger is certainly a factor to consider as more and more people buy electric vehicles,” Ziggi, an EV car owner in the Nambucca Valley told NOTA.

An average passenger EV in Australia travels about 400-450 km on a 100 percent charge.

If charging stations are located close to attractions – natural or commercial (e.g. restaurants, shops) – it can take away from the inconvenience of waiting an hour or more to obtain a charge for travellers.

Ziggi says he and other EV drivers avoid such locations as there can be a multiple car line-up at peak times with everybody wanting the convenience of being able to shop or enjoy a location while charging their car.

“PlugShare can be helpful, with drivers able to leave messages for others coming to the charger (charging station) but there is no booking system, so you just have to wait with the vehicle and move up in the queue as it progresses,” Ziggi explained.


The Nambucca Heads Library was recently renovated with consideration given to locating an EV charging station there.

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