Flicking the Switch: Electric Vehicles offer new Opportunities

Electric vehicle charging

Flicking the Switch: Electric Vehicles offer new Opportunities

Recently there has been a lot of discussion in the media regarding Australia’s use of Electric Vehicles (EVs), particularly in the lead up to the last election. Some have even suggested that the development of EVs could support a further mining boom in Australia for products such as lithium.

According to the Electric Vehicle Council of Australia there were 2,284 EVs (hybrid and battery-only vehicles) sold in Australia in 2017 – 0.2% of new car sales in Australia. Two thirds of Australians will be driving electric cars within the next 10 years according to Jaguar. And, it looks like 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for EVs with Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Audi and Mercedes Benz all set to release new vehicles into the Australian market.

Most EVs require their batteries to be charged by an external source, usually a charging station. Currently in Australia there are approximately 800 charging stations, with Victoria leading the way followed by NSW and Queensland.

Charging Along the Way

What could the increased presence of EVs on the road mean for your business?

Those travelling long distances will no longer only stop for fuel at traditional service stations along the route but will stop their vehicles. This could mean a new ‘captive audience’ for businesses offering charging stations.

In August 2018, the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 (Infrastructure SEPP) was amended to allow for the development of charging stations by any person on certain land that adjoins a public road with consent from local council. This will allow charging stations to be developed in more areas than previously – helping businesses attract passing traffic while also increasing the business’ green initiatives.

The Evolution of the Traditional Service Station

Is your business already a traditional service station, highway service centre, or car washing facility? Have you thought about diversifying your business by providing access to EV chargers? Do you want to increase your green initiatives?

The amendments to the Infrastructure SEPP also allow for charging stations to be development on land adjoining a public road in any zone where the land is an existing service station, highway service centre, or car washing facility, with consent of local council.

Are you located on a major route? This could be a major opportunity for your business. Have you been thinking about the possibility of installing a charging station but now sure about what approvals are necessary?

This increased diversification of the automotive market is bringing endless opportunities for many Australian businesses and landowners. With so many opportunities and avenues to explore, it’s important to be aware of the risks along the way and to ensure you have the correct consents in place.

Do you need specific advice in relation to planning controls for EV charging stations and associated infrastructure? Our planning and environment team has specific expertise – contact us.