Hepburn Shire will soon have three more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations thanks to a new collaboration between Hepburn Energy (formally Hepburn Wind), Hepburn Shire Council, and Chargefox.

Australia’s national record on electric vehicles is poor. Around 1.2 million new vehicles were bought last year. Only around 20,000 (2%) were electric vehicles. In Europe electric vehicles are now more than 10 percent of new car sales.

Australia has not matched the European efficiency standards for CO2 or noxious emissions for new vehicles. There are no national incentives to sell electric vehicles and the Commonwealth Government has only a very limited infrastructure program for EVs.

Victorian and local initiatives like Hepburn Z NET have had to step into the breach.

Chargefox has secured $89,500 through the Victorian Government’s Destination Charging Across Victoria Program (DCAV) for three 50 kW DC fast-chargers. This collaboration will help the Shire reduce transport emissions by supporting electric vehicle use.

DCAV is the first program launched under the Acceleration of Zero Emissions Vehicle Adoption (AZEVA) Program, part of the Zero Emissions Vehicle Roadmap. The Roadmap is a $100 million package of policies and programs to encourage the adoption of zero emissions vehicles.

The DCAV program will install approximately 141 EV fast-charging stations at 116 key tourist destinations and high-use locations across Victoria by July 2023. The three local DCAV charging stations will be installed in Creswick, Hepburn Springs and Trentham by January 2023. The charging stations will be deployed on the Chargefox network, the largest EV charging network in Australia and will be installed by local service provider, Fells Electrical.

Evan Beaver, Head of Charging at Chargefox said “We are excited to expand our network in the Hepburn Shire, which is a beacon of sustainability initiatives.”

The Hepburn Shire Council will play a critical role in the program, hosting the EV stations on suitable sites.

Cr Tim Drylie, Mayor, commented that: “The DCAV program will ensure our community and visitors have access to fast charging infrastructure that will offer high connectivity across our major towns, whilst showcasing our Shire’s efforts to implement meaningful emissions reductions strategies. The desire to reduce emissions and support tourism was something that came out very strongly in the feedback from the community during the development of our Council Plan.”

Hepburn Energy’s General Manager, Taryn Lane, said that this program is another excellent opportunity to take the lead on emissions reductions as part of the council and community alliance, Hepburn Z-NET.

“Transitioning transport is critical to enable our Shire to reach zero-net emissions by 2030. We have been delivering complimentary programs such as the EV Bulk Buy to support access to affordable EVs. It is paramount that our community is well supported with sufficient charging infrastructure to further expand on these activities.”

If you would like to find out more about the project, visit the Hepburn Z-NET website.