Albury has become a no-go zone for electric vehicles in the past three months with its sole public EV charging point still broken.
Albury Council, under fire for failing to provide more public chargers, said the NRMA charging point in the Kiewa Street car park - damaged by vandals in August - was expected to be fixed "in coming weeks".
However, council deputy executive chief executive officer Brad Ferris confirmed the car park would be locked up at night to deter vandals after November 24 - also shutting out late night motorists in need of a charge.
Circa 1928 co-owner Kevin Yaxley, who provides a single free charging point to his guests, said he was dismayed the city had nowhere for people to charge their vehicles.
"We had a person phone us last week with an almost exhausted EV and desperate for a charge," Mr Yaxley said.
"While we restrict ours to hotel guests only, we allowed him to charge here for three hours so he could get to the nearest charger on his way back to Melbourne.
"The nearest non-Tesla public charger to Albury was at Wodonga Woolworths car park, according to Albury Council."
A Tesla "Destination Charger" accessed from Elizabeth Street in Albury behind the Atura Hotel was found to be "out of service" on Saturday.
"Why doesn't Albury pitch itself as the EV stopping off point on the Hume Highway?" Mr Yaxley said. "Basically all EVs need a charge every 250 to 300 kilometres. The dollars that would be spent in town (through people spending on food) would be phenomenal."
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Albury Council said the vehicle charging station at Kiewa Street had been out of operation "due to regular acts of vandalism".
Mr Ferris said a new security gate had been installed which would be locked between 10pm and 6am each night from November 24.
"NRMA ... intend to reactivate the EV charger over the coming weeks," Mr Ferris said.
He said the council would work with the NRMA to identify additional sites for EV charging within Albury.
"The council was recently successful in securing funding to install eight new charging stations," Mr Ferris said.
"Installation of the new EV chargers is well advanced, with four chargers at both Volt Lane car park and David Street car park being commissioned next week."
Mr Yaxley said he considered the council and others in Albury to embrace NSW government funding for charging stations a "no-brainer".
"Let's get Albury back as a place you stop at, not drive straight through," he said. "If Albury doesn't do it, plenty of other towns soon will.
"We have had our EV charger now for almost three years and it's a big selling point for attracting our market from Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.
"It alleviates their 'EV anxiety' knowing that they will receive on site EV charging when they stay here."
When asked about availability of public chargers in the CBD, Albury Council referred The Border Mail to a Transport for NSW website which shows a map of charger locations.
This map shows privately owned chargers at Quest on Townsend St, one at Winsor Park Motor Inn on Young Street), one at the western end of Hume Street at the Albury Community Wood Fired Oven, and one at the Seaton Arms Motor Inn on Olive Street.
In February 2020, then Albury mayor Kevin Mack congratulated the NRMA for opening its first fast-charger in the city at Kiewa Street.
"At Albury Council we're proud to be leaders in sustainability - so it's great to see the NRMA providing such an important contribution to a cleaner, greener future for our community," Mr Mack said.
More recently, Albury Council in announcing it is signatory to the Climate Council's Cities Power Partnership, said: "We are committed to a sustainable and non-polluting energy future.
"Our community strategic plan Albury 2030 identifies the main priorities and aspirations for the future of the city, including focusing on growing a sustainable economy and enhancing the natural environment."
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