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Motoring

The NRMA is coming to the rescue of flat EVs as the NSW govt opens its latest incentive program for electric commercial fleets

- January 31, 2023 2 MIN READ
car broken down, EV, roadside assistance
Photo: AdobeStock
NSW motoring mutual the NRMA has helped motorists with flat car batteries for a century and now it’s coming to the rescue of the next generation with roadside assistance for electric vehicles with flat batteries, putting patrol vans on the road with recharging battery packs.

It’s baby steps for now, but a start. Just two vans, in Sydney and Canberra, with 4.8kWh lithium-ion batteries for recharging, will be on patrol. They’ll give a stranded EV 5km of range in just 10 minutes to get to the nearest charging station.

NRMA (not the insurance brand) has already built a network of more than 50 fast chargers and last year led the $56 million acquisition of Australia’s largest public EV charging network, Chargefox.

But from now on, NRMA roadside assistance will cover EVs at no additional cost for members, as well as access to NRMA’s network of over 50 fast chargers.

Roadside Assistance patrolman Tim Bryant said they’re seeing more and more EV drivers call us for assistance.

“NRMA Patrols are now trained to attend to both internal combustion engines as well as electric vehicles,” he said.

“The new mobile EV chargers being rolled out in our patrol vans mean we’ll be able to get more cars back on the road faster.”

Range anxiety remains a major concern for drivers on long trips when it comes to EVs.

NRMA is now rolling out and managing a network of fast-charging stations nation-wide in a deal with the federal and state governments. Its network currently includes 50 locations across NSW servicing the state’s key tourism and transport corridors including the Hume, Newell, Sturt, Oxley, Great Barrier highways as well as the Mitchell, Pacific, Olympic and Great Western Highways.

The motoring association’s announcement comes as NSW treasurer Matt Keen announced round 3 of the Drive electric NSW EV fleets incentive had opened. Applications close May 23. Details here.

Kean said the first two rounds are expected to boost EV registrations by more than 10%, with more than 1000 vehicles hitting roads after to the second round.

“The second round had 20 successful bidders – 17 individual fleets and three fleet aggregators – who will receive a financial incentive to shift to EVs,” he said.

“Successful bidders will also receive financial support to co-fund a total of more than 1,000 smart chargers.”

The government is offering $105 million to support commercial fleets to purchase new EVs.

The round 2 recipients are: Splend, Custom Fleet, Reliance, IAG, Woollahra Municipal Council, CarBon Leasing and Rentals Pty Ltd, Northern Beaches Council, Murray River Council, CB Cars Pty Ltd, Palm Investment Holdings Pty Ltd, NRMA-owned SIXT Australia, Origin Energy, ElevenX, Lockhart Shire Council, Essential Energy, Campbelltown City Council, Ballina Shire Council, Karmo Cars and TAS Australia.

The incentive is part of the $633 million Electric Vehicle Strategy

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