OPINION

Western Sydney energy program's future-focus

Western Sydney energy program's future-focus

As western Sydney continues to be a focal point for development and growth, the transition to electric vehicles provides an opportunity to ensure our region is equipped for the shift - including an EV fast charging network, in new and existing development.

Planning for a future that is low-emissions is a priority for the seven councils participating in the Western Sydney Energy Program (WSEP), led by WSROC. The electrification of transport is an important part of the WSEP. Currently, a lack of charging infrastructure presents an obstacle to EV ownership for many communities.

With the release of the Electric Vehicle Charging Masterplan this month, the NSW Government has taken the lead nationally by prioritising EV transition and pursuing the goal of a net-zero future. Councils are working toward this goal, in partnership with other regional stakeholders, to ensure Western Sydney communities can fully participate in the EV shift. WSROC is currently working with member councils to develop an EV Roadmap that will further support our regional commitment to an EV future.

Barry Calvert, WSROC president

Barry Calvert, WSROC president

Fast-charging stations are a key part of EV transition, countering 'range anxiety' - whereby lack of charging infrastructure presents an obstacle to EV ownership. More fast-charging stations will ensure that drivers can begin to travel more widely, assured of the ability to re-charge their vehicles. While slow car chargers can take six to eight hours, fast chargers can take as little as 20 minutes.

Recently, WSEP member councils and Western Sydney University developed a list of key sites for fast-charging electric vehicle stations, to encourage more installations in Western Sydney. This was done in partnership with infrastructure providers Evie Networks and Engie as part of a bid for the Australian Government's Future Fuel Fund. Overall, more than 400 fast charging stations will be installed in the next two years across Greater Sydney.

As the third largest economy in Australia, it is essential that Western Sydney's EV network is supported by strategically located fast-charging stations to ensure our region's communities can fully participate in the transition.

  • WSROC coordinates the Western Sydney Energy Program which is a collaboration between seven western Sydney councils. The program aims to realise energy, cost and emission savings for Western Sydney councils and their communities.