In a strong sign of the future of the automobile, BMW and Westfield have teamed up to install 40 new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in 10 Westfield shopping centres across NSW, Queensland and Victoria. The charging stations can be used by any electric vehicle not just BMWs and there’s no charge for the charging.
By March 2017, electric vehicle owners will be able to access four charging stations per centre at Westfield Bondi Junction, Chatswood, Miranda, Sydney, Warringah Mall, Carindale, Chermside, Doncaster and Southland.
Speaking for Westfield, Tim Roberts, GM of leasing, says, “This is all about convenience for the growing number of EV drivers in our local communities. EV drivers will be able to identify charging station locations in our centres via the ChargePoint app, online or through their BMW navigation system.”
There are currently around 8000 EVs in operation in Australia and sales are steadily increasing, with over 35,000 EVs anticipated on Australian roads by 2024.
BMW is in the forefront of EV innovation and sells a range of pure electric and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles in Australia, through its ‘i Series’. Marc Werner, the head of BMW Australia, says the German giant, “owns the largest worldwide market presence of any electric vehicle manufacturer.”
At the top of the BMW electric vehicle in Australia is the five-door i3 which is sold as a pure electric vehicle with no other form of power, as well as a range extended model which uses a small petrol engine to charge the batteries. It never runs directly on petrol power. Amongst numerous global awards the i3 was named Wheels magazines Car of the Year.
BMW i8 is a full-on supercar combining electric power with a small high-performance petrol engine to produce stunning acceleration.
Then there’s the BMW 3 Series hybrid sedan and X5 hybrid SUV which can run purely on petrol or electricity and are both plug-in.
It’s good to see this incentive from Westfield and BMW, because Australian governments continue to refuse to give incentives to people who want to buy hybrid and electric cars. Other countries offer things like reduced or no sales tax, cheaper registration, free parking in cities, free charging in cities, permit driving in transit lanes even if there’s only one person in the car, and more…