THE NRMA has taken a crucial step towards making Orange accessible to electric cars, with a charging station set to be installed in the CBD.
Orange City Council will vote on Tuesday night to enter a partnership to install a fast charge station on Byng Street, outside the Orange Regional Museum.
The station, located in a one-hour parking zone, will include two connectors – one for Tesla vehicles and another for most other makes and models.
The NRMA will cover the equipment, installation and ongoing costs, making the $8 charges free for motorists.
Mayor Reg Kidd said the service was a way of bridging the gap until accommodation providers installed their own equipment.
“We rely on overseas companies for our fuel and they have us over the barrel so to speak because of the prices at the moment,” he said.
The station will be able to charge cars to 80 per cent capacity in half an hour, or 100 per cent in an hour.
Councillor Stephen Nugent said electric cars were becoming more affordable and were no longer considered “exotic”.
“It’s great as a tourist attraction, we want people who are buying electrict vehicles in Sydney and Canberra to come to Orange and they don’t have to worry if they’ll have enough charge to get home again,” he said.
Kate Hook, who recently bought a Tesla, said although the initial outlay was expensive, she expected it to work out cheaper to run than her former Audi.
She said the car had a range of up to 560 kilometres, updated itself and came with fewer maintenance costs.