With EV vehicles expected to take over the Australian market, what does the future look like for park operators and installing EV units for guests?
Introducing electric vehicle (EV) charging units in holiday parks around Australia is revolutionising how travellers take holidays. With more holidaymakers looking to reduce their carbon footprint, EV charging units provide an environmentally friendly alternative to petrol-powered vehicles. This trend is set to continue in the years to come as more holiday parks around Australia begin to offer EV charging units as part of their services. The reality of electric cars has become an overnight focus for park operators to embrace and is no longer a conversation as to whether we should or shouldn't adopt the future of the automotive industry, and it's here to stay. By 2030, car manufacturers will have eliminated the production of petrol-driven cars and focus on delivering fully sustainable EV vehicles, with large players already selling in Australia. With the future focusing on EVs, accommodation providers must investigate the best way forward to meet their guests' travel requirements.
The community of park operators are questioning if this is a financially viable solution for small owner-operators to foot the costs of installations plus the extra costs associated with power bills. Which inevitably will have to be absorbed by the guests. Park owner and operator David Jones, a current RMS user, has been one of the early adopters of installing an EV charging station at his park.
We installed one because of the inherent and unknown risks where folks charged their cars from sites and cabins. We have cables running across the ground, in and out of screen doors, and people were tripping the circuit breakers by overloading our grid. We were worried about trip hazards, electrocution and fires. So we have banned charging anywhere other than at the official charging point.
– Dave Jones, Airey's Inlet Caravan Park
The Australian park industry faces significant changes over the coming years that will pressure parks to upgrade their power networks to charge multiple cars simultaneously. "Most parks would overload their power network if they were trying to charge, say, 15 - 20 cars, but it might be 100 or 200 cars in the future. Impossible with current infrastructure set up at parks," said Jones.
The industry requires a leader to step up and help the future of Australian parks and campgrounds be prepared for future traveller demands. With the Australian government offering grants to upgrade parks, should the focus be on EV charging units and power network upgrades? Australia's Caravan Industry Association Australia are the major industry leader in supporting EV charging units and setting new standards.
As an industry, we see the challenges presented by the transition, we also want to be an active contributor to the solution and, with a truly national network of caravan parks in some of Australia's key regional destinations and overnight transit routes, we believe we can be at the forefront of the transition.
– Stuart Lamont, CEO, CIAA.
There are many reasons why consumers are adopting EVs, as they reduce the need for petrol or diesel and significantly reduce their environmental impact. EV charging units also offer a convenient and cost-effective way for travellers to charge their vehicles. Concerns around the caravan industry in Australia have become a topic of discussion in local communities regarding whether or not they should adopt EV charging but leave it up to large companies like BP.
With many considerations for park operators to consider, EV charging units will inevitably have to be implemented at holiday parks to welcome guests and keep them safe.