Way of the future… new charge station at Harcourt

Harcourt’s newly installed electric vehicle charge station is up and running with a new public EV fast charge station for Castlemaine soon to follow.
The newly installed Harcourt station has been drawing interest from locals and electric vehicle owners and in recent days its listing has appeared on the online PlugShare EV charge station map pinpointing the location of stations across Australia and the world.
“It’s the way of the future,” said Harcourt local Max Murphy as he stopped to watch an EV put the new Evie Network fast charge station to use.
The new charger is situated beside Harcourt’s High Street public toilet block, opposite the town’s post office, and is part of a wider regional rollout of charge stations at 17 different locations.
The project is being managed by Castlemaine-based Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance in a partnership involving 12 councils including Mount Alexander Shire, along with the state government, and Queensland-based EV charging operator, Evie Network.
On site Friday, Harcourt’s Max Murphy said he would consider buying an EV – “one day I will,” he told the Express.
Fellow Harcourt local Robert Cue said he did not have plans to buy an EV himself but was happy to see the new station go in.
“I’m a petrol head – but I think it’s fine,” he said.
The new local stations come amid mounting international momentum to slash greenhouse gas emissions with the US last week using a global climate summit convened by President Joe Biden to announce it was ramping up efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Mr Biden announced the US would aim to increase its Paris target to a reduction in emissions of between 50 to 52 per cent by 2030 on 2005 levels.
The US president told the 40 countries invited to the virtual gathering there was a “moral imperative” to take action.
“The signs are unmistakable. The science is undeniable. But the cost of inaction keeps mounting,” Mr Biden said.
“The United States isn’t waiting.”
Closer to home, as our own federal government faces flack for dragging its heels on urgently needed action, at a local level the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance isn’t waiting for Canberra to come to the party.
Another of the new fast chargers in the rollout that CVGA is overseeing is scheduled for installation behind Castlemaine’s CBD visitor information centre in coming days.
“An EV is still much less emissions intensive than an internal combustion engine, even if the grid was fully powered by coal – which it is not,” CVGA executive officer Rob Law said.
“The majority of the Charging the Regions network will also be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy in coming months.
“The stations in Mount Alexander are intending to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2022 at the latest.”
Across the road from Harcourt’s new charge station, local post office owners Lee and Colin Casley watched the new station go in and on Friday said they regarded the move as a positive for their community.
“I don’t know much about electric cars, but I think it’ll be a good thing,” Ms Casley said.
“We’ve got the cafe and the general store here and people can go and sit there and have something to eat. It will bring more people to the town.”
“I’m not sure if it’s just all the vans – or the trucks – but Australia Post is looking at moving to electric,” Mr Casley noted.

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