Nhill, Victoria, 28th January 2021: Australian startup, Linga Network has today switched on Victoria’s most remote electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the towns of Nhill and Rainbow, Northwest Victoria, as part of a rollout of 100 free EV chargers across the state.
In a first for the Australian automotive industry, Linga Network is built through the collaboration of vehicle manufacutures and local councils. Manufacturers contribute directly to the network’s infrastructure costs, while Linga Network coordinates the roll-out of charging stations at strategic locations determined by community need, rather than driven by financial returns. Participating regional councils provide convenient parking locations and cover installation costs.
Linga Network charging stations will be spaced no more than 100 kilometres apart to increase access to regional areas and ensure charging services can meet the increasing number of EVs on Australian roads, as manufacturers scramble to meet emission regulations both in Australia and overseas.
Due for completion by mid-2021, Linga Network and its electric car charging stations will boost tourism and access to all of regional Victoria, with national expansion across regional Australia to follow. EV manufacturers have mobilised in support of the project with interest being shown by such brands as BMW, Jaguar Land Rover, Skoda and Volkswagen – with more to follow.
Linga Network Founder & CEO Adrian Kinderis said: “Until now, charging locations for EVs have been confined to cities and a small number of major travel routes like Sydney to Melbourne, and the market has been largely dominated by private enterprises that operate with disparate and confusing payment systems.”
“Linga Network’s goal is to break down yet another digital divide for regional Australians. We’re overcoming the major infrastructure roadblock to electric vehicle ownership – charge anxiety – while supporting regional communities through tourism, economic activity and a boost to their sustainability credentials.”
“We want EV drivers and their families to engage with regional communities. Rather than be confined to a transactional petrol station experience, why not use the time it takes to top up the charge on your vehicle by exploring one of Victoria’s many beautiful country towns, putting your hard earned money into the communities that really need it.”
Australia’s 20,000 EV owners are currently without accessible charging infrastructure in regional areas, as the majority of planned or established charging stations are located along major highways and under private ownership.
Linga Network’s electric car charging stations will take approximately one hour to reach a 20% charge per vehicle – the current average charging time for EV users – and will be conveniently located in each township, giving motorists the opportunity to explore and support local attractions and businesses.
“While there is clearly a desire for Aussies to ‘do their part’ to improve the environment and reduce their carbon footprint, unfortunately the lack of charging stations and infrastructure discourages consumers from buying EVs, and in turn discourages manufacturers from making and shipping them to Australia,” said Kinderis.
Kinderis said the towns of Nhill and Rainbow in Hindmarsh Council were selected as the first locations for Linga Network chargers, precisely because of their more remote location, giving EV motorists an exciting new region to explore. Additional locations will be added in partnership with the most proactive Councils.
Hindmarsh Shire Council Mayor Ron Ismay said: “This is a really exciting step for Hindmarsh Shire and has the potential to change the face of tourism in regional town centres. We thank Linga Network for their contribution and support of Hindmarsh Shire. We have a proud history of innovation through agriculture and more recently in our sustainable practices.”
“Not only does participation in this program make sense for our local economies, it will play an important role in bridging the divide between metropolitan and regional Victoria and unifying our state. It also gives all Victorians a great way to reduce their impact on the environment and it supports local governments to reduce emissions through more sustainable transport infrastructure. We encourage our colleagues in other Councils across Australia to follow our lead,” Mayor Ismay concluded.
Also commenting on the future of sustainable mobility in Australia, Kinderis said: “Today marks not just the launch of this vital regional EV charging network, but also the launch of a company with a focus to drive critical infrastructure implementation for all new technologies that power sustainable mobility.”
“There are many emerging, exciting technologies that will work to decarbonise mobility, and Linga Network is uniquely positioned to ensure the automotive industry and the community are capable of implementing and integrating these technologies quickly and effectively” he said.