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Docklands and the electric car

28 Feb 2018

By Ree Maloney

Electric cars are happening. Is Docklands prepared?

There are two charging points located in The Distict shopping centre and some of the newer resident towers have already been fitted with charging points in anticipation of the increase of electric vehicle ownership.

MAB general manager David Allt-Graham said the new Banskia building had chargers.

And Digital Harbour’s executive director David Napier said: “We’ve designed a new building next to LifeLab. The plans include two chargers with wiring for four more.”

“I was in Amsterdam in September and they had charging points on the streets. We’d like to incorporate that into Digital Drive.”

A report from the NRMA and Electric Vehicle Council said: “It’s important that we plan and prepare for an expanded electric vehicle fleet in Australia.”

According to the report, there has been a 40 per cent increase in electric cars worldwide – bringing the number to about two million and it’s anticipated to grow to 140 million by 2035.

The benefits of electric cars are many. Of course, there’s the overall benefit for the environment and then there’s the personal benefit of fuel savings. Docklands makes the perfect spot for electric car charging infrastructure because it’s such a new development.

Mr Napier said: “There are no chargers in our existing buildings.” He said they would have to be retro-fitted according to demand. “It’s not impossible,” he said.

In regard to older MAB buildings, Mr Allt-Graham said the fitting of electric car chargers hadn’t yet been contemplated. However, he believed that the existing infrastructure wouldn’t cause an issue for the units to be installed in the future.

Lendlease is looking into the provision of car charging stations in future developments but older buildings will have to rely on their owners’ corporations for installation.

Mirvac’s general manager for residential development in Victoria, Elysa Anderson, said: “At Mirvac, we are seeing an increasing interest from customers in the charging provisions required for electric cars. Although they are not yet a planning requirement, Mirvac are including electric car charging systems in our future developments as we see this as an important way to prepare our residential apartment buildings for the future.”

Australians have had a reluctant reaction to electric cars, with sales dropping in the past year. According to the Electric Vehicle Council, this is due to vehicle cost with 13 of the 16 available electric car models being above $60,000.

Once electric cars are priced at similar rates as petrol and diesel vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before Docklands residents will be looking for car chargers in their car parking spaces and on the streets.

It will be up to the City of Melbourne to oversee the approval and installation of on-street chargers.

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