– FREE ACCESS * TO CANBERRA’S LARGEST ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING NETWORK public network access December 2012.pdf?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonv6zJZKXonjHpfsX56OUpXLHr08Yy0EZ5VunJEUWy2YAGSdQhcOuuEwcWGog8wglMDuWHbIxB+fAP.

AFAIK, this is a first big push by Better Place to promote its public charging network in Canberra.  Put down a deposit on a cable, get 24 months free charging.

UPDATE 17:20 01/12/2012

It really is that simple.  As confirmed by Better Place at the Canberra International EV Festival, put down $400 deposit on the cable and you can use their public charging network around Canberra.

Well… there is one catch.  AFAIK none of the spaces is for the exclusive use of EV (or PHV or ERHV).  For months I’ve seen anything but electric cars parked in the spaces at Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, even as the number of spaces has grown from 2 to 5.  In fact there was a skip parked in one of those spaces until recently.

Now I’m not going to name and shame the drivers of ICE cars who park in those spots; they’re not contravening any restrictions.  In an recent email reply,  Better Place pointed out that the spaces belong to the property owners and they could do with them what they liked.  Better Place also hoped that they would change their mind.

Canberra is not teeming with EV and most drivers I spoke to today said that they don’t expect or rely on charging facilities anywhere but at home.  However, put $400 into the equation and suddenly you’ve paid for the privilege and your expectations change.  Those spaces are going to be used.

What can you do?  Write to Belconnen Fresh Food Markets and ask if they are reviewing the use of the 5 spaces.  Perhaps they could make the spaces:

  • exclusively for EV with no time restriction
  • exclusively for EV with no time restriction, however the charging cable must be plugged in at all times
  • 15 minute spaces for ICE cars and unrestricted for EV
  • valet service only.  With car washing facility.

If not, Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets might put in some EV spaces of its own.

Remember to keep yourself nice when you ask nicely for something that would be nice.



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