What is an EV?

Electric vehicles (EVs) are vehicles with motors powered by electricity rather than petrol or diesel. They have an electric motor and a large battery that can be recharged by plugging into an external electricity source: an EV charger.

EVs are cheaper to run, quieter on the road and reduce both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions than petrol or diesel vehicles. EVs are powered 100 per cent by battery, 100 per cent of the time.

EV ownership is on the rise worldwide and in Australia. With increased uptake, road trip experiences in NSW will be transformed. As the momentum for EVs continues to build, it’s important to have a comprehensive and robust EV charging network across NSW, to encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more while visiting NSW destinations.

What are EV drivers looking for?

EV drivers are more likely to plan and build their road trip around stops that have charging locations. This guide will provide visitor economy businesses tips on how to attract visitors by offering something to see and do while their car is charging.

The opportunity for visitor economy businesses

  • Under the NSW Government EV strategy, EVs are expected to account for 52 per cent of new car sales by 2030-31, with the aim for most new car sales being EVs by 2035. [1]
  • Regional NSW receives more than 27 million domestic overnight visitors annually and more than 41 million domestic day visitors. [2]
  • Regional NSW receives more than 700,000 international visitors annually. [2]
  • 89 per cent of domestic overnight visitors travel to regional NSW by car (private or company vehicle). [2]
  • Car rental companies are increasing their EV fleets, encouraging eco-friendly and sustainable driving.
  • Visitor economy businesses that have EV chargers available may attract EV drivers who want to stay longer and spend more, as it gives them an enhanced experience when visiting your region.
  • NSW government has funding available to assist visitor economy businesses install EV chargers and can provide up to 75 per cent of the costs for purchase and installation of destination chargers in regional NSW. Details can be found here.

The advantages of offering an EV charger

Installing an EV charger could be a game-changer for your visitor economy business.

EV charging capabilities provide the potential to:

  • attract new and high value visitors
  • increase revenue through EV charging services and increased visitor dwell time
  • provide your business with a competitive advantage within your region
  • increase your sustainability reputation
  • build customer loyalty.

Create great EV-friendly experiences

Attract more visitors to your destination and elevate your visitor experience by creating a great EV charging experience for your visitors.

Install EV chargers that provide a variety of different charging speeds and options. The table below is a guide for charging scenarios at typical visitor economy businesses that have a destination EV charger available.

Enhance the visitor experience

  • The availability and location of chargers plays a big part in the decision making of where EV drivers will stop.
  • Provide accurate information on your website and EV digital platforms about the charger at your site, including associated costs (if any).
  • Ensure all your staff are trained to assist visitors with their EV charging experience.
  • Consider how the location of your charger can create a positive visitor experience. A prominent position that is easy to access in your carpark is best. A visible charger may also attract passing EV drivers and create positive word of mouth.
  • Consider practicalities, such as signage and parking policy. Allowing only a limited charge time may be suitable for higher traffic areas.

Consider how your business may provide EV charging to its visitors

  • Free charging is recommended as it will attract more visitors to your business.
  • ‘Free with service’ allows visitors free charging at your venue with the purchase of a meal, overnight stay or experience e.g., ‘Charge & Play’, ‘Charge & Stay’ or ‘Charge & Dine’.
  • Cloud-based billing is a pay-per-use option. For this to be offered, your business will need to install software for collection of payments. Visit the electric vehicle destination charging grants page for more information on software subscription grants.

Offer experiences onsite to appeal to road trippers

  • Offer activities and experiences based on EV charging dwell times.
  • Make sure you promote these packages across your website and online platforms to EV visitors. For example, highlighting that your one-hour winery tour is the perfect duration for EV travellers to charge.

Build your sustainable visitor experience

  • As you prepare for the installation of your charger, consider whether your charger will run off renewable or standard power. Using renewable energy such as solar power may reduce your running costs.
  • Create sustainable and environmentally friendly tours and experiences that are likely to attract and cater towards EV visitors and their interests. To find out more about sustainability opportunities for your business, read the NSW First guide, Quick Tips for Creating Sustainable Experiences.
  • Make sustainability a key aspect of the visitor experience by providing educational information. Tell your visitors about your sustainability story.

Incorporate EV charging into your loyalty programs

Building EV charging into your existing customer loyalty programs is a great way to increase repeat business (e.g. free charging for subscribers, wine club members, return guests and VIP programs).

Consider how your business can collaborate and cross-promote

Collaborate and partner with other charging locations in your region, or along key self-drive routes, creating an EV-friendly road trip in your region. This is an opportunity for businesses to tell the story of how the region welcomes EV drivers, and to cross-promote experiences and facilities.

How to promote your EV charging facilities

  • Update your ATDW listing if you have EV charging capability at your location. Recent changes to the platform mean that you can now select EV charging as a field.
  • Update your website to include detailed information about your charger, the type of charger and charging arrangements, including costs, across all your online platforms. Tie this into your story of your sustainable visitor experience.
  • List your charger on EV digital platforms and websites - update your Google MyBusiness listing and ensure your EV chargers are listed on standard mapping apps, such as Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze. List your charger on EV apps such as PlugShare and manage user reviews and comments regarding your charging station.
  • Use EV imagery across your social networks and website - update your listings and website with the use of EV imagery. Include an image of your charging station on site.
  • Align your business values with sustainability and corporate responsibility - an onsite EV charger is a sustainable offering. Consider working towards sustainable certifications from Earthcheck, B Corp or Ecotourism Australia to further develop your business’ sustainability
  • Work with your local Accredited Visitor Information Centre (AVIC)
    - make sure your local and neighbouring AVICs know that EV charging is available at your business and in your destination. AVICs respond to enquiries about charging facilities in your region and are well-placed to attract EV drivers to the destination and provide a trusted source of information.

NSW Government EV Destination Charging Grants Program

The NSW Government is providing support for visitor economy businesses to install destination chargers at their site.

The funding program has a regional focus and is available to a broad range of visitor economy businesses, such as accommodation, attractions, food and drink businesses, and tour operators.

The aim is to assist businesses to become EV-ready by providing grant funding for the purchase and installation of EV chargers, opening opportunities to attract EV drivers and to increase visitation.

The grants can co-fund up to 75 per cent of the costs associated with the purchase and installation of EV chargers at visitor economy businesses.

A total funding allocation of $20 million is available to support the growth of the EV destination charger network across regional NSW.

Further information is available on the electric vehicle destination charging grants page.



[1] NSW Electric Vehicle Strategy

[2] Source: IVS and NVS YE Dec 23