Uralla Mayor Robert Bell says the town is uniquely and perfectly positioned to host high-speed charging stations for travellers driving electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles, or EVs are gaining in popularity creating a growing demand for more charging stations. However, rural communities have been somewhat neglected in charging station development. They have low rates of EV adoption due to a lack of charging infrastructure and limited exposure to electric vehicles.
Robert Bell believes that's soon about to change and he wants to see Uralla at the ready.
"We have been in consultation with ZNet Uralla and also the Uralla Shire Business Chamber looking into the possibility of installing EV charging stations in town," he says.
"We are looking forward to a report from The Office of Environment and are in the process of considering all the best possible options with regard to charging locations in Uralla.
"At the moment the Uralla Visitors Centre or the car park Centre behind the Bridge Street business as possible hosting options.
The advantage that Uralla has is that it is not bypassed on the highway, so it makes a lot of sense to have a charging station here," he says.
"The market for EVs is developing rapidly and we would certainly like to see Uralla in that market, it makes sense to look into it now and to be ahead of the game."
An electric charging station at Uralla would link up other charging stations being proposed for New England towns including Moree, through the NRMA and Moree Plains Shire Council who made a funding announcement to provide additional charging stations earlier this year, and also Walcha NRMA, although no dates have been confirmed for that location.
Renewable energy group Solar Citizens recently called for policy changes and more public chargers to encourage the electric vehicle transport trend which includes considering the viability of electric Utes driving in regional Australia.
Australia is expected to introduce a fuel efficiency standard to encourage more automakers to bring electric Utes into the country.
Electric car brands, renewable energy firms and environmental groups claim a failure to introduce emission standards laws could see Australia saddled with high fuel prices and miss out on efficient vehicles and should aim to match overseas progress and ban emission loopholes.
The NRMA is hosting a free Electric Vehicle drive day at the Armidale Traffic Education Centre on September 16, where attendees will have the chance to test drive an electric vehicle with the accompaniment of a qualified driving expert.
Places for drive times are limited and the NRMA is encouraging people to book ahead early to secure a seat.
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