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"Powering Ahead" - Inner West Council Sydney's EV Strategy


Active Member
Jul 1, 2017
The Inner West Council in Sydney opened up a consultation on its draft "EV Encouragement Strategy" last September and the strategy is now ready to go to the Council meeting on 9 May. It's called "Powering Ahead".

The papers for this meeting are a staggering 1100 pages long 😳, for those interested, you can jump straight to page 447 for the agenda item discussion, page 451 for the outcomes of the consultation (with redacted verbatims submitted in the consultation), and page 525 for a copy of the final 23-page strategy.

I've only skimmed it so far, and it seems a bit light on actual detail/decisions, but I'm pleased to see that kerbside charging has emerged as the #1 issue in the submissions, because the vast majority of residences in the Inner West do not have off-street parking and this is a significant barrier to adoption. Despite this, it's increasingly common to see EVs in the Inner West that live on the street - there are 2 in my block alone (a Polestar 2 and Tesla Model Y). Public charging will rapidly become an issue.

Tesla actually made a submission (p.471) which said:
  • The Strategy should be updated to reflect the current electric vehicle climate and technology
  • Supports the EV Encouragement Strategy.
  • Strongly supports public charging facilities and recommends providing more charging facilities than stated in the Action Plan.
  • Strongly against Council’s involvement with charging facilities so as to not interfere with the companies’ plan to roll out charging facilities [ I don't know what to make of that comment... channeling Elon? "Damn Councils just get in the way!!" 😄 ]
  • Supports non-car mobility but has advised against grouping them with electric cars due to differences in power, space, and function.
The key recommendations for the immediate/short term:
  • Updating DCPs to require all new car spaces for single dwellings, including alterations and additions (where car spaces are permitted) be EV charging capable.
  • Requiring all new multi-unit residential developments to be EV charging ready through the provision of conduits and cables to every parking space ✅. Further, the development must be able to demonstrate that its proposed electrical infrastructure is sized to support a future scenario where 100% of all spaces can be simultaneously used for EV charging.
  • Public kerbside charging partnerships ✅ - Council works with charging providers to develop pilot programs to initiate the phased-in provision of kerbside charging facilities to assist residents in areas where housing does not generally have driveways/off-street access
  • Public car park charging partnerships - Council works with charging providers to develop pilot programs to initiate the phased-in provision of charging facilities in Council’s public off-street parking areas. These programs should aim at providing a minimum of 2 bays (1 x double charging unit) dedicated to electric vehicle charging in off-street parking areas which have 20 or more car spaces.
  • Guidelines for residents without parking ✅ - Council will explore opportunities to develop guidelines for the safe charging of EVs for residents who do not have off-street access or a nearby public charging unit. Such Guidelines would be informed by the State Government’s State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 and associated policies.
  • Light poles with charging - Council will endeavour to work with Ausgrid to ensure that, subject to the delivery of suitable lighting pole designs (e.g. recognising the local character including heritage considerations), at least 20% of new lighting poles in the Inner West LGA will be capable of accommodating EV charging facilities.
Some of the verbatims are an interesting read. A few cranks in there as expected but also some erudite contributions.

I won't have time to go to the meeting but I believe they are all livestreamed these days, for those who are really keen.
I think just that other councils have rolled out their own chargers without any kind plan to allow others to install competing chargers, and that councils should stick to approving sound DAs and let companies do the work of identifying business opportunities. Otherwise councils will install 2 charging spots, tick the box and call it a day which hardly supports growth. Tesla don't operate a destination charger network like they do with super charging, and have themselves been fairly laggard in opening up destination chargers to allow the owner to do some kind of usage billing.

Whatever council write in their action plan will be less than exponential, and growth of EVs is currently exponential. The whole of the inner Sydney councils need to seriously address on street AC charging like they have in Norway.
Whatever council write in their action plan will be less than exponential, and growth of EVs is currently exponential.

To be fair, IWC wrote on page 448:

“In relation to the growing demand for EVs, as shown in Figure 3, between 2019 and 2021, the number of EVs registered in the Inner West has risen from 163 to 648 (nearly 300%). During that same time the number of public chargers in the LGA has only risen from 17 to 38 (125%)”

Which demonstrates an appreciation and understanding that the number of EVs is growing faster than the number of public chargers.