As the Chair of Destination Wollongong I was delighted to hear that Wollongong Central was now offering our electric car-driving visitors free-to-use charging stations. I could just imagine day-trippers from Sydney cruising down Seacliff Bridge and the Grand Pacific Drive, looping around Flagstaff Hill, then re-charging at the shops before the drive home.
At the SMART Infrastructure Facility we are always looking at how we can apply infrastructure to better plan for the future. Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at Wollongong Central exemplify how our world is changing and how we need to meet the future head-on to stay ahead of the curve. Not to mention the environmental benefits!
Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to test drive the new BMW X5 and get a feel for the EV experience myself. Frankly, driving around in such luxury is no less than I deserve. The car was magnificent. It was sleek, classy, and made me resent my own little petrol-guzzler.
Charging the car was easier than expected – easier than figuring out how to turn off the windscreen wipers, that’s for sure. I pulled into the Keira St parking station at Wollongong Central and found the designated parking area for the charging station. All I had to do was plug my cable into the charging port and voila! – it was like plugging in a giant iPad… that you can drive… metaphors aren’t my forte.
While my car got its battery topped up, I popped into Coles and did my weekly grocery shop and a quick lap of Jacqui E. All charged up, I was ready to hit the road. Driving the BMW X5 using electricity was smoother and quieter than I could ever imagine. I’ve heard of an engine purring but the X5 was practically silent.
It will come as no shock – get it? – that I would recommend an electric vehicle to anyone who was looking for a futuristic and environmentally-friendly vehicle. Test-driving the BMW x5 has certainly sparked in me – get it? OK, I’ll stop – a keen interest in EV and I applaud Wollongong Central for catering for EV drivers and contributing to innovative infrastructure.