With a lack of Government investment in EV infrastructure, Tesla set about rolling out their own Supercharger network across the globe. In Australia much of the East coast is now connected and an important corridor is the route through Wodonga which connects those driving from Sydney or Canberra down to Melbourne.
The trip from Sydney to Melbourne is 878km which places Wodonga is key strategic location where Tesla owners could take a break, recharge (the car and people) before completing the drive.
5-13 Havelock Street, Wodonga is close to great coffee shops, Subway, the public Library and Safeway Supermarket on the main street of Wodonga. With so many locations possible in the Albury Wodonga area, Tesla chose a great one.
First confirmed back in August 2015, the location was supported by Wodonga Council, with an agreement Tesla could use the land where 6 car parks would be available and the charging infrastructure placed close by.
By October 2015, Wodonga’s Tesla Supercharger location was open to Model S and Model X owners, a progressive move by Wodonga Council, something they received a lot of positive press for.
Now in 2019 Wodonga Council have back tracked on that and have taken the remarkable decision to actually allow ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles to park in Supercharging bays for up to 60 minutes.
Internationally, this problem is increasing (without encouragement) with many users online sharing photos of Supercharger bays being blocked by inconsiderate or jealous people.
With the Model 3 launching in Australia next month, the volume of Tesla owners who will need to charge at these 6 Supercharging bays will grow exponentially as the price of Model 3 is substantially less (i.e. more affordable to more people).
I reached out to Wodonga Council to see if they were doing anything about these vehicles and here’s there boilerplate response which was sent to at least one other person who enquired.
Amazingly Google Street View has captured 5 of the 6 Superchargers being ICEd. This is not good enough, not even close.
Here’s the real grind. Wodonga Council recently completed a redevelopment of the main street (High Street). Residents were concerned about a reduction of parking spots, so they released information specifically addressing just how many available parks there are in the CBD.
There are more than 400 car spaces directly behind both sides of the High St works zone including all day, two-hour and disabled parking spaces. The car parks are all less than 200 metres from High St.Wodonga Council High st (South) to Lawrence st Project page
Below is a birds-eye view from Google maps which I think pretty dramatically shows just how small of a footprint the EV parks consume.
These EV parks need to be treated the same as disabled parking, if you don’t meet the criteria (have a Tesla logo on your car) you can not park there or you will receive a fine to ensure you don’t do it again in the future.
This issue of EV charging locations being blocked by non-EV cars has been increasing in regularity internationally. To my knowledge, this has never been endorsed by the land owner of the Supercharger like it has been from Wodonga Council.
This policy seriously needs to be reconsidered. If you agree, please let them know, their contact details are available from https://www.wodonga.vic.gov.au/Contact-Us
One last thing.. that building you see in the background is the Wodonga Council building which are currently doing extensions and have building fencing that is consuming more than a dozen car parks.
When I visited the Wodonga Supercharger this weekend, I found it empty (along with dozens of regular parks), however many other parts of the week, this is not the case.