First public EV charger unveiled in Yarra Glen

Image credit: Yarra Ranges Council

A partnership between Yarra Glenergy, the Victorian Government, and Yarra Ranges Council has resulted in the first public electric vehicle (EV) charger in the Yarra Ranges.

Yarra Glenergy Vice President Trent Evans stated that the EV charger is already in high demand after being built in November 2022.

“We’re getting about five or six cars through a day, making about $600 to $700 a month in revenue,” Evans said.

According to Evans, the money from the EV charger will go to Yarra Glenergy and be used to fund more renewable projects in the area.

Evans is hopeful that the charger will inspire more EVs in the community.

The 50KW fast charger is equipped with a load management system that prioritises energy use within the Memorial Hall. It also utilises surplus renewable energy from the hall’s solar system, which is complemented with renewable energy sourced from the grid by Council.

The charger was sponsored jointly by Yarra Glenergy’s budget – provided by Council following the sale of the former Maternal and Child Health building in town in 2016, and divided into community initiatives after a People’s Panel was created – and a State Government grant.

Ryrie Ward Councillor Fiona McAllister commended Yarra Glenergy for hosting the region’s first publicly owned EV charger.

“Privately-managed electric vehicle chargers have been available in the area for a few years now, in areas of the hills and the Yarra Valley, but I am thrilled that we now have this charger on public land, available at all hours for residents and visitors alike,” Cr McAllister said.

According to Cr McAllister, since selling the former-maternal and child health site in 2016, Yarra Glenergy has grown by leaps and bounds, delivering significant projects to enhance the community and help us all live a little lighter on the earth.

“This new charger is the latest in a run of successes for the group, and I’d like to congratulate them on this wonderful project. We look forward to their next projects, and we at Council will support them wherever we can,” Cr McAllister stated.

For the general public, Cr McAllister said this is a significant step towards having more publicly available fast chargers as EV adoption grows. If we can provide good infrastructure for charging, more people will visit our communities, and more people will consider switching to electric vehicles.

“It’s also heartwarming to know that the price of charging your car in Yarra Glen – which is a fraction of what re-fuelling a petrol car costs – goes right back to be re-invested in the community, which I think is a tremendous result,” Cr McAllister added.