Bendigo's attraction as a destination for electric vehicle (EV) owners continues to grow with the installation of another charger in the city.
The electric car charger has been installed at the Discovery Science and Technology Centre courtesy of the Chargefox network, Australia's largest open EV public charging network.
The charger enables AC fast charging of up to 120km of range per hour and uses solar energy from the Discovery centre rooftop.
The charger has been installed as part of Bendigo Tech School's 'Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Electric Car Project'.
The project sees young women from local schools converting a Range Rover Classic into a Tesla powered 4WD.
When complete, the electric car will be made available for community hire based at the Discovery centre.
Bendigo-based solar energy business Cola Solar/RACV Solar has sponsored the project through the installation of the charger.
The company's A grade electrician Jonathan Beattie said the charger was a 22-kilowatt three-phase charger which also supported 7kw single phase and could charge any AC electric vehicle.
Motorists must have their own cable to plug into the charge which is encased in an anti-vandalism box.
"There are instructions on the box on how to log on to the Chargefox network and there's a code to gain entry (to the charger)," Mr Beattie said.
He said an EV Only parking bay has been set aside near the charger to allow access.
"It's a great location because you might only need an hour to do the charging - depending on how depleted your car is - and you can go and do your shopping," Mr Beattie said, pointing to the Bendigo Marketplace.
"Given the growing number of EV's on the road, it makes it a great beacon for Melbourne tourists.
"The Discovery centre has solar panels on the roof so the energy for the power is coming direct from the sun which is cool.
"Plus it supports the girls in STEM working on the Range Rover installing batteries and a drive train and it's a wonderful skill set they are learning and showing them what the future of the world is."
Bendigo South East College year 9 student Della Czuczman is one of the girls working on the project transforming a Range Rover into an electric vehicle.
The students have been working on the project since April last year and hope to have the vehicle ready to drive by July next year.
"It's unreal, I love it," Della said of the project.
"I always had an interest in car but that interest and passion has built since I started this program."
The Australian-made charger at the Discovery Centre was donated by Jet Charge and Chargefox has donated 12 months of free access to their charging network.
Discovery centre general manager Alissa Van Soest said the solar powered EV charger was an exciting step in Bendigo's sustainable future.
"It has been brilliant seeing the Girls in STEM working on the electric car project in the Discovery centre workshop," she said.
"The installation of the EV charger is an exciting milestone in their progress."
Chargefox CEO Marty Andrews said his company was proud to support initiatives that help expand EV charging infrastructure and support tourism across Australia.
"At Chargefox, our mission is to reduce road transport emissions, leaving a cleaner future for the next generation of Australians and it's great to be able to collaborate with Bendigo Tech School on this project," he said.
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