Maryborough — the Queensland town that briefly became world famous earlier this year for installing Mary Poppins-themed traffic lights — is getting a Tesla Supercharger station thanks to healthy food chain Oliver’s Real Food.

Oliver’s (ASX:OLI) told investors it is installing a Tesla Supercharger station at its Maryborough store following an earlier installation at its Gundagai restaurant on the Hume Highway in 2016.

There are only about 17 Tesla Supercharger stations in Australia. Each station features multiple units allowing rapid-recharging for long-distance trips in electric cars — 20 minutes for a 50 per cent charge and 75 minutes for a full charge.

Bloomberg New Energy Futures predicted last year that electric cars would spur growth in food and retail developments around charging stations.

“Many electric vehicle drivers will likely try to avoid using charging stations on main roads and motorways for reasons of time and cost,” BNEF’s Michael Liebreich and Angus McCrone wrote in a report last year.

“Those that have to – perhaps because they are undertaking longer trips – will have to spend longer doing so, creating new retail and food service opportunities.

Oliver's share price over the past six months. Source:
Oliver’s share price over the past six months. Source:

That’s good news for Oliver’s chief executive Jason Gunn, who is already considering several other locations for Tesla Superchargers — plus fast-chargers for another motoring group.

“We believe that electric vehicles have a major part to play in the future of motoring in Australia and we want to be part of that,” Mr Gunn told Stockhead.

“When we approached Tesla originally they said they had made a conscious decision not to partner with fast food. But when we explained who we were and what we were doing, they loved it.”

Mr Gunn says they’re getting about 60 Teslas a week through Gundagai, and he expects similar numbers through Maryborough.

Oliver’s shares nudged up 6 per cent to 17.5c on Wednesday.

Oliver’s said earlier this month that it’s already opened 18 of a targeted 33 new restaurants this financial year, and the September quarter saw it move into cash flow positive status.

However, the shares have yet to recover from a steep fall in July after the group announced a profit downgrade.

As for the Mary Poppins traffic lights? Maryborough is where Mary Poppins author Pamela Travers was born in 1899 — hence the tribute.

Pic: Boing Boing
At the cutting edge of traffic technologies … The Queensland town of Maryborough has installed Mary Poppins traffic lights.