Aussie council walks away from 'dangerous' electric vehicle trial

The divisive charging method looks like it has no future when it comes to electric vehicles.

It's one of the big conundrums for inner-city Aussies as we move into the electric vehicle era. Where exactly will those without off-street parking charge their electric cars?

Well for one council, a make-shift and divisive charging method appears to already be on the chopping block. Sydney's Inner West council had given a handful of applicants approval to charge their electric vehicles kerbside via a covered cable running across the footpath from their homes.

However a council spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that such a scheme is no longer being pursued.

"Due to safety concerns, council is not actively supporting the charging of electric vehicles at the kerbside by running a power lead across [the footpath]," they revealed.

A white Tesla charges in a Balmain street with a cover over the wire on the footpath.
One Inner West resident showed off his charging set up recently. But is this the charging solution to the electric vehicle boom? Source: Facebook

A glance at online discussions about such a method quickly reveals how divisive it is among the community. While some were all for it being done safely, many argued it simply couldn't be achieved and if ramped up would be "too dangerous" and a major hazard. Those in favour say pubs and tree roots cause similar trip hazards.

One resident approved for a six-month permit told Yahoo he enjoyed the convenience of charging directly outside his home, and feared scrapping the scheme would make it hard for him and others to find a place to charge vehicles anywhere near their homes.

Private kerbside parking requires home insurance inclusion

To be approved for his own kerbside parking, the resident was instructed to include Inner West Council as an interested party on his home insurance in case anyone claimed as a result of an injury caused by the installation. He said while his covering for the wire was relatively low, he had seen some in the area which were much more higher. "It does mean it's harder for someone to negotiate if they have a pram or trolley," he said.

The Inner West LGA has a high proportion of terraced housing without onsite parking in areas such as Balmain and Newtown. So what now for these residents and electric vehicles?

Inner West Council revealed it plans on "focusing its energy" on developing a public charging network across the LGA. Kerbside charging stations for public use have slowly started to appear across its suburbs, however the council now plans on ramping that up as the popularity of electric vehicles increases.

Leading kerbside charger supplier EVX has warned councils across Australia they must act now to meet the demand from electric vehicle owners.

"With ongoing discussion about a ban on sales of all new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, councils need to start preparing their EV charging networks for this move now," it says.

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