Locals split on massive ‘eyesore’ electric vehicle charger on a suburban street at Mona Vale on Sydney’s northern beaches
Residents of a beachside suburb in Sydney are divided over the location of an electric vehicle charger that some are calling an “eyesore” while others say it is “a step in the right direction.”
Plans to introduce the electric vehicle (EV) charger at Bungan St in Mona Vale, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, were accepted by the Northern Beaches Council in mid-2021 after ‘a high level of support’ from locals.
But controversy over the charger quickly grew after the council allowed Jolt, a national EV charger supplier, to connect the charger directly to an Ausgrid kiosk substation.
The addition of a shell that can charge an EV added about 40 centimeters to the box’s height and a meter to its length.
Employees of stores behind the charger have complained that due to the expansion, potential customers can no longer see their store and simply drive by.
Other residents were angry that the council had also reserved a car park on one of the suburb’s busiest roads solely for the use of electric vehicles.
Residents of Sydney’s beachside suburb of Mona Vale have been divided by the introduction of a massive electric vehicle charger on one of the suburb’s busiest streets (pictured)
An image of the charger was forwarded to 2GB’s Ben Fordham on Thursday morning, where it was described as a ‘massive eyesore’.
One resident told the program that the design of the charger was ‘not at all in keeping with what is in Mona Vale’.
“The biggest problem a lot of people have is that it takes up a prime parking space and no one ever sits in it,” she said.
The caller said she’s “just seen it (just) empty” as gas-powered cars search for limited spots in the area.
Another caller, a woman who works at a shoe store behind the box, said the box’s larger size had led customers to think it was closed because they couldn’t see the store as they drove down the street.
“They drive past (because) they can’t see it, so they come in a few months later and say, ‘Well, we thought you’d left Mona Vale,'” the woman told the programme.
She said the company has resorted to placing a sandwich sign at the front of the store to remind customers that they are, in fact, still open.
The council found that residents who had opposed plans to introduce the charger ‘believed that state-owned land (car parks) should not be used for a commercial enterprise’.
The council’s website said opponents also believed the council ‘should not support/subsidize a small minority of EV owners as this disadvantages the majority of motorists’.
However, those who were against the introduction of the charger only made up about 13 percent of residents who submitted a comment to the municipality in 2021.
Some locals were angry that the charger is an eyesore in the streetscape, while others were angry that a parking space would be reserved just for electric vehicles
A whopping 84 percent of residents supported the plan to add an EV charger to Bungan St, the first in the suburb at the time.
The council noted that those who supported the plan did so mainly for environmental reasons, and said having more chargers would encourage the purchase of electric vehicles.
The charger is one of many Jolt chargers linked to the Ausgrid electricity system and provides customers with the first 7 kWh free of charge.
The company can pay for electricity costs by playing ads on all sides of the charger except one.
While Fordham’s program heard from outraged locals, others took to social media to explain the strange-looking charger.
“RIP Ben Fordham when he finds out this is actually an Ausgrid electrical box that has been there for two years,” EV lawyer Bridie Schmidt wrote on X.
Ms Schmidt said the company “installs street chargers on existing connections to the electricity grid”, hence the oddly shaped setup.
A Jolt spokesperson told Ny Breaking Australia the electrical box was installed 29 years ago and still exists beneath the EV charger ‘shell’.
The charger’s odd size is due to it being installed directly onto an Ausgrid kiosk substation. The original electrical box on Bungan St is pictured before it was enlarged to accommodate the EV charger
Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins told Ny Breaking Australia they “support Ausgrid and Jolt’s initiative to convert existing Ausgrid green boxes into fast EV charging stations.”
“There are now more than 20 EV charging sites across the Northern Beaches and many more in the pipeline, making it one of the fastest growing areas for electric vehicle use,” Ms Heins said.
‘The state government is aiming for 52 per cent of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030 and the federal government is aiming for 89 per cent, so we really need to ensure our community has the right infrastructure in place to support the uptake of electric vehicles. to support.’
Contrary to the caller’s belief that the charger remains empty, Ms. Heins said Jolt chargers within the community are among the most widely used in the entire country.