By Andrew Starc 

25 May 2010 – Australia’s first public on-street electric car charging station has opened in Sydeny’s inner-west, as part of a planned national rollout.

Installed by Visionstream and managed by ChargePoint, the station is located in Derby Place, Glebe. The station can recharge a converted plug-in Toyota Prius in three hours using 100 per cent GreenPower from Origin.

The Toyota Prius is part of the GoGet car share scheme, a car sharing initiative based in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. It has an electric motor range of 30 kilometres, 2 km longer than 80 per cent of regular GoGet trips.

ChargePoint chief executive Luke Grana said that the Sydney station is a public demonstration of the viability of charging stations, providing behavioural and energy usage data which will be vital for effective and efficient energy management and future infrastructure planning.

Mr Grana said that further charging station pilot programs are to be conducted in Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide later this year.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore, who officially opened the station, said electric vehicles have zero exhaust emissions, while car sharing replaced up to 10 privately owned cars for each shared vehicle.

“Each day more than 700,000 cars travel throughout the Sydney Local Government Area, significantly contributing to smog, greenhouse gas pollution, congestion and noise.

“Anything we can do to decrease the greenhouse gas emissions caused by motor vehicles is a step towards a healthier city. Together with public transport, walking and cycling, electric vehicles are part of the climate change solution.

“Today, Sydney joins other cities such as San Francisco, Amsterdam, Philadelphia, Houston, Detroit, Vancouver and London who all have installed charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.”

Ms Moore said the City of Sydney is investigating the purchase of retrofitted plug-in Hybrid EVs and new EVs for its vehicle fleet, as part of its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 70 per cent from 2006 levels by 2030.

There are currently about 3000 individual members of car share companies within the City of Sydney area, the majority with GoGet, including 500 small businesses. The City provides 120 dedicated on-street car share spaces, four times more than any other Australian city. Worldwide, car share membership has risen from around 50,000 users in 1997 to 550,000 in 2009.