NEW electric vehicle charge points are poised to help the region become a tourism hot spot.
More than 20 new charge points are set to be installed across the state, as part of a $3 million project involving the state government and the NRMA.
The New England, Kamilaroi and Newell highways will benefit from the funding boost, which will ensure travellers can see more of the region without fear of running out of power.
Tamworth Business Chamber president Jye Segboer said Tamworth's pre-existing charge points would help the city become a "tourism hub" for travellers with electric vehicles.
"Quite a few of the motels here in Tamworth already have electric car charging stations and Tamworth Regional Council installed a universal charger for two cars next to Diggers," Mr Segboer told the Leader.
"There is already a strong presence in town and there's always going to be people who will want to recharge and it's great our city can offer them that.
"It's good for every town in the region to be a potential stopping point to help encourage more tourism for their local economies."
NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole said the roll out of the new charging points would be complete by 2022.
"These additional charging stations are part of a $3 million co-funded investment to deliver greener and cleaner travel," Mr Toole said.
"This will help create the most comprehensive regional charging network in the country, opening regional NSW up to electric vehicle owners.
"The extended network will help further support the regional tourism economy and promote local investment in regional centres along the Newell, Barrier, New England, and Kamilaroi highways.
"We want people to stop off and explore our regional towns and cities while they charge their electric vehicles."
NRMA executive general manager Nell Payne said once the network was complete drivers would be no more than 150km from a charging station.
"The NRMA has been building Australia's most comprehensive fast charging network with almost 40 fast charging stations installed in NSW," Ms Payne said.
"This partnership to install more charging stations will open up regional NSW further to electric vehicle owners and boost regional tourism by giving certainty to drivers that they can journey across the state without fear of running out of charge."
Mr Segboer said the project was a timely boost for regional businesses feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I think the New England Highway has been overlooked by city folk for such a long time," he said.
"It's such an open, beautiful landscape to drive through and anything that can help attract people inland, rather than on the coast, will be beneficial."
The story Electric vehicle boost to help region become prime tourism route first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.