Australia’s centre of political power is poised to become a hub for electric vehicle power after the launch of 10 charging stations and plans to install more than 50.
Senate president Sue Lines and House of Representatives Speaker Milton Dick officially opened the first electric car chargers in the Parliament House public car park on Monday, including two chargers designed for greater accessibility.
The 10 stations are among 58 to be installed at Parliament House by energy provider ActewAGL over the coming months.
The rollout comes just two months after six fast-chargers were installed at Canberra’s Royal Australian Mint and after figures showed the ACT continued to lead the country in new electric car sales.
The first 10 electric vehicle charging stations at parliament were designed to meet “the evolving needs of our visitors,” Mr Dick said, as more than 800,000 people visited the building each year and more were arriving in EVs.
“Once this project is completed, it will be one of the largest installations of EV-charging facilities in Canberra.”
The remaining 48 charging stations would be installed in parliament’s other car parks, Ms Lines said, and included chargers accessible “to all visitors,” including drivers in wheelchairs.
The latest electric vehicle charging roll-out arrives two months after ENGIE opened six DC fast-charging electric vehicle points at the Royal Australian Mint in nearby Deakin.
The chargers were funded by the ACT Government, with Energy Minister Shane Rattenbury citing the growing popularity of electric cars in the territory as a reason to speed up the installation of supporting infrastructure.
“We know Canberrans are eager to make the switch to electric so it’s crucial that our infrastructure keeps up with the demand,” he said.
Figures from the Electric Vehicle Council’s latest State of EVs report showed the ACT continued to lead the nation in adoption of the automotive technology.
More than 21 per cent of new cars sold in Canberra were electric in the year to June 2023, compared to nine per cent in Tasmania and NSW, 8.5 per cent in Victoria, and 7.7 per cent in Queensland.
The ACT has more than 100 public electric vehicle chargers.
(Australian Associated Press)