Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay is joined by NRMA executive general manager motoring Nell Payne and Mayor Jim Simmons at the launch of NRMA's fast charging station under the Grafton Library.
Clarence Valley Council general manager Ashley Lindsay is joined by NRMA executive general manager motoring Nell Payne and Mayor Jim Simmons at the launch of NRMA's fast charging station under the Grafton Library. Adam Hourigan

Charger sparks future: new tech to bring tourism to Valley

A COMBINED initiative by NRMA and Clarence Valley Council is hoped to spark tourism into the town while embracing a developing technology.

A new Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Station was switched on at Grafton yesterday in a carpark beneath the library, allowing motorists to charge their cars in around 30 minutes.

"We know the Northern Rivers is an incredibly popular motoring tourist destination so now we want to open the region up even further to the next generation of motorists by providing them with the right infrastructure," NRMA executive general manager motoring Nell Payne said.

"We know one of the key reasons electric vehicle uptake has been relatively slow in Australia is because people are worried there isn't any charging infrastructure available along their journeys.

"That's why the NRMA is part of the solution to that perceived 'range anxiety' - our network of fast chargers will allow EV motorists to tour to towns like Grafton and know that they will have all the amenities and services they need to stop, charge their car, enjoy the town, and safely continue on their journey."

Ms Payne said yesterday's opening would activate the NRMA's Pacific Highway route.

"Our aim is that 95 per cent of member journeys are within 150 kilometres of one of our charging stations," Ms Payne said.

She said the NRMA's goal was to place the chargers near local amenities like restaurants and shops to allow people to explore the towns while the cars charge.

Clarence Valley Mayor Jim Simmons said his council recognised the need to take more action to address climate change and recently adopted a strategy to cut emissions from council activities by 50 per cent and emissions by 40 per cent.

"We've also joined other councils in recognising a climate emergency," he said.

"But these decisions need to be supported by appropriate infrastructure and I am pleased the NRMA is providing some of the facilities we need to help people adopt renewable technologies."

The charging point is currently free for all people to encourage use, and will be available free of charge for NRMA members in the future.

The Grafton charging station is the 18th of the NRMA's electric vehicle fast charging stations to open to the public across the state.

It follows Sydney Olympic Park, Wallsend near Newcastle, Jindabyne, Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, Mittagong in the Southern Highlands, Narrandera, Berry, Young, West Wyalong, Bathurst, Parkes, Dubbo, Nabiac, Tamworth, Batemans Bay and Orange.



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