10 November 2023

Charge up your knowledge on electric vehicles and bikes at information day

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A street sign about a proposed EV charging station in Thirroul.

Wollongong Council will install an EV charging station in Thirroul as part of a 12-month trial. Photo: Electrify 2515.

Thirroul community group Electrify 2515 is holding an electric vehicle and e-bike open day on Sunday (12 November) to help residents learn more about the environmentally friendly transport options.

The event, at Club Thirroul, will bring together industry experts, local owners and some manufacturers and retailers.

Coordinator Denise Aubourg said a recent survey of northern Illawarra residents found 44 per cent were “definitely” or “probably” going to buy an electric vehicle (EV) in the next two years, and 31 per cent were planning to purchase or lease an electric bike (e-bike).

However, the survey found there was still a lot of uncertainty about affordable options, car ranges, charging facilities and model features, which might hinder the transition from petrol- and diesel-powered cars.

“Most people we speak to know their future car will be electric but are still not sure if that is a reality for them anytime soon,” Denise said.

“The perception is that you need to spend over $70,000 or that driving ranges are low.

“They are surprised when we tell them you can already purchase a new EV for less than $40,000 with a range of 350 km in Australia, and that story is getting better every day.”

The EV and e-bike open day will display a large range of EVs from manufacturers such as Tesla, Hyundai, BYD and Polestar. These are mostly owned by local EV owners, and some will be brought along by retailers.

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Information sessions will help to bridge some knowledge gaps around the practicalities of EV ownership, existing government incentives, available and coming models and how novated leases are an affordable option for many.

Local EV owner and event coordinator John Buchelin owns a Hynundai Ioniq.

“I try to tell as many people who will listen how I saved around $2500 last year on fuel costs and how easy it is to charge,” he said.

“I have three young kids and it is really important to me that I am doing as much as possible to limit my role in the climate crisis.

“For an average household, their car makes up two-thirds of energy used and is by far the largest source of carbon emissions. Switching to an EV or e-bike will have a really positive impact.”

According to the group, electric bike sales have taken off in the Illawarra and are a good, affordable option for those not yet able to invest in an electric vehicle.

The volunteer group has organised to show the various e-bikes on offer, as well as subscription services for those interested in trying them out for a couple of months.

“This free event is a great opportunity for those who are ready to make the next step or simply curious to learn more about our electric transport future,” Denise said.

“We’ve also managed to secure some special deals just for Illawarra locals and are committed to supporting our local community as much as possible as we all make the electric transition.”

The EV and e-bike open day will be held at Club Thirroul, Station St, on Sunday 12 November. Information sessions will be held from 10:30 to 11.30 am and 11:45 to 12.45 pm.

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