Lake Macquarie council could have up to a dozen electric vehicle (EV) charging sites in coming years as part of a draft strategy designed to prepare the city for a predicted rise in EV ownership.
The draft Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy was presented to councillors at Monday night's built and natural assets standing committee meeting.
The strategy has been developed to guide strategic installation of charging infrastructure at council facilities around the local government area for use by council staff and residents. It will also guide businesses and community organisations wanting to install their own charging infrastructure.
The strategy lists 10 proposed locations for council-installed EV charging sites, including: Swansea, Belmont, Charlestown, Warners Bay, Cardiff, Glendale, Fassifern, Freemans Waterhole and Morisset.
It also notes a charging site at Lake Munmorah, within Central Coast Council, and an existing EV charging station at council's Speers Point administration building.
A timeline of one to three years is slated for the installation of charging infrastructure at the proposed sites.
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said electric vehicle ownership had been increasing modestly in recent years but was predicted to grow in the next decade.
"We know that there is a global trend in the uptake of electric vehicles and this strategy will help guide our community's and council's expected transition to an electric vehicle future over the next 10 years," she said.
"Our role is to support the community in this journey, which not only has the potential to drive a network of charging infrastructure, but also to stimulate tourism and economic development."
The strategy has been prepared in line with national and state transport plans. It proposes a regional local government forum and working group to ensure consistency of infrastructure and appropriate roll-out.
One of its aims is to facilitate non-council deployment of charging infrastructure, at sites like shopping centres, which would be privately installed and operated.
The strategy would also support the transition of council's vehicle fleet to electric. The council currently has two electric vehicles in its fleet but is aiming to add more by the end of the year.
Opportunities for electric bike and scooter charging facilities would be explored within one to three years.
The council unanimously voted to place the strategy on exhibition once adopted at the next ordinary meeting.
Some councillors raised concerns about the type of charging ports to be used, but those details will be refined after community input.
"I encourage residents to look at the strategy when it is placed on exhibition at shape.lakemac.com.au in the coming weeks and share feedback," Cr Fraser said.
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