Council is proposing to lease the Council owned section of Smythe Street Carpark next to Woolworths to Tesla for the purpose of an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station. This charging station will be included in Tesla's non-Tesla Supercharger pilot which will allow access to non-Tesla EV vehicles. The proposed lease term would be five years with two five year options to extend.

Project Background

The proposed carpark would include 20 dedicated spaces for electric vehicle charging as well as retaining 21 spaces for general parking. There will be a staged delivery with the first stage consisting of the installation of 10 charges (31 retained for general parking) with another 10 to be added at a later date as needed.

The proposed chargers being installed would be Tesla V3 chargers, these charges will have the capacity to charge at 250 kilowatts. Options for charging non-Tesla electric vehicles will be explored as part of the agreement with Tesla.

Other infrastructure includes either a 2 Mega Volt-Amp or 2.5 Mega Volt-Amp transformer and seven ‘cabinets’ which are inverters providing power to three charging posts.

The project would be funded, constructed, and run by Tesla. The proposed carpark would be the largest Tesla EV charger site in the country to date. Tesla would be required to pay council a fee per carpark per year.

Further Information

This size of the project would make it a unique asset to Benalla and the location would allow for major economic flow on effects for local businesses particularly hospitality and retail, aligning with the Council Plan 2021-2025 strategy for ‘Flourishing Tourism’.

While cars are charging it allows owners and families time to enjoy some of what Benalla has to offer, including, some of the local shops and cafes. The large number of chargers makes the site desirable for EV owners and drivers as they can be confident of gaining access to a charger on arrival. This is also ideal for local residents who either already have EV’s or are looking to purchase an EV in the future. They will be able plug their car in, do there shopping around the Benalla CBD for 30min to an hour and return to a fully charged car.

The presence of EV chargers in Benalla particularly at this scale would be positive step towards the Council Plan 2021-2025 strategy for encouraging ‘Sustainable Practices’. The project would promote more sustainable transport options and show the community that Benalla will support more sustainable projects.

Electric Vehicle sales in Australia increased by 65 percent in 2022, and with EV’s exempt from the fringe benefit tax as of July 1 2022 sales will continue to increase at greater rate. Having the infrastructure in Benalla will also assist the Council in transitioning its own vehicle fleet towards EVs in the future.

This project would allow Council to provide both an economic and sustainability boost to the municipality without any capital or operational expenditure. It will also provide Council with incoming funding to put towards its own parking and/or related projects.