Merewether electric vehicle owner Michael Barwell says Newcastle's new charging station will attract fellow enthusiasts to the city.
City of Newcastle launched the "E-Transit Hub" on Friday at No.2 Sportsground.
The fastest of the three chargers at the hub, which also provides solar power for the sportsground, can charge an electric car to 80 per cent in 30 to 40 minutes. The hub also includes an e-bike hiring dock.
The council plans to install three more EV charging sites at the Queen Street car park, Laman Street and on Wharf Road by early 2020.
The EV infrastructure is part of the $13 million Smart Moves Newcastle project, which received $5 million through the federal government's Smart Cities and Suburbs program in 2017.
Mr Barwell, a Tesla Owners Club Australia member, said the release of cheaper Tesla, Hyundai and other electric models in the next year would increase demand for the vehicles.
He said a recent study suggested about 1500 electric and hybrid vehicles were on the road in the Hunter, about 50 of them fully electric Teslas.
"Internationally, today it's 2.2 per cent of vehicles are electric," he said. "In Australia, we're only 0.2, so we've got a hell of a lot of catch-up to do, but we're starting to see the vehicles that can contribute to that uptake."
The chargers will be free for a month, before the council introduces a fee of about 20 cents per kilowatt hour, which Barwell said equated to a $15 recharge.
The NRMA opened a high-speed charging station at Wallsend last year as part of its national network, and Tesla has a bank of chargers on the Pacific Highway near Raymond Terrace.
Lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the inner-city charging station demonstrated that infrastructure was in place to support the take-up of electric vehicles in Newcastle.
The slower chargers take about two hours to refuel a car, and Cr Nelmes and Mr Barwell said it made sense to position them near commercial centres.
"It will attract a lot of visitors to the area," Mr Barwell said.
"Electric vehicle owners and enthusiasts tend to travel a lot, to prove their point and to spread the message. A lot of people will come into Newcastle to use the facilities nearby who will use this as a stop-off point."
While you're with us, did you know Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here.
IN NEWS TODAY: