October 12, 2020
The State Government’s “Electric Super Highway” may have bypassed the South Burnett in favour of the coast but electric car charging points are slowly appearing in the region anyway.
They’re paving the way to attract the next generation of tourists who will never travel inland until they can be certain of being able to recharge their electric cars along the route.
Blackbutt now has two charging points – one at the Blackbutt Showgrounds, the other in a shed at the rear of the post office.
Kingaroy’s Room Motels also offers its guests electric car charging facilities.
And on Friday, Nanango’s Star Motel became the fourth outlet in the region – and the first in Nanango – to join what many people believe is an inevitable transport revolution.
Star Motel’s Andrew Beck said while demand for electric car charging facilities was fairly light at the moment, he was confident it would only increase as electric cars became cheaper and their market share grew.
So he jumped at the opportunity when he was approached recently to install two Tesla charging stations.
The Tesla outlets are becoming a standard, Andrew said, and can service most types of electric cars, not just Tesla models.
“These are slow chargers. The aim is to attract guests who want to stay overnight and charge their cars while they’re asleep,” Andrew said.
Andrew said he didn’t believe fast chargers would become widely available until electric cars gain a much bigger slice of the market.
A factor in his decision was his motel’s location close to the intersection of the Burnett and D’Aguilar highways.
“If people are heading north from Nanango, these are only two highways they can use,” he said.
“But since the next charging point is at Gympie I’m hoping it will make sense to some travellers stop with us and recharge beforehand, because it’s a long trip from Nanango to Gympie.”
The new charging points are located undercover outside two of the motel’s units and were officially launched on Friday morning by South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto and Division 1 councillor Roz Frohloff.
Members of the Nanango Tourism and Development Association (NaTDA) also came along to witness the occasion.
NaTDA president Gloria Kirkness said Andrew was a member and the group wanted to congratulate him on the initiative.
“NaTDA is all about promoting positive new developments in Nanango and this is certainly one of them,” Gloria said.
Mayor Otto said Council also has plans to introduce electric charging facilities at some point – both to assist residents and encourage more tourists to visit the area.
The Mayor said the Council’s recently redeveloped Alford Street car park in Kingaroy now has the necessary infrastructure in place to install two fast chargers in the future when it becomes economically viable to do so.
The Council is also looking at ways to accommodate electric vehicles in other projects it has on the books.