Two years ago, traveling around Australia in an electric car was nothing but a dream. Despite the fact that a number of Australians already owned an electric car then, the trip was simply unmanageable due to the fact that there were no chargers in sight for miles and miles of road. But all that has changed in just a couple of years — thanks to an organisation of electric vehicle owners.
Expanding 17,000km around Australia, the new electric vehicle charging network is composed of 32 amp 3-phase chargers that are spaced around 200 km apart (on average) and is capable of supplying 110km worth of power in 30 minutes, meaning electric car drivers need only an hour or less of charging to have enough juice to make it to the next charging station.
The charging network was made possible by groups of EV owners from Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA) and Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA). Tired of waiting for the government to take action, the two groups volunteered to create a three-year “Electric Highway” project that aimed to put chargers on all roads around Australia. The project, which was not funded by the government, has reached its completion just a few months ago. Now, the 10,000km gaps of no-charge areas when the project started are now filled.
In an article by Renew Economy, Richard McNeall of TOCA and Round Australia Project quoted, “We’re endeavouring to show that there is ‘people power’ behind the drive to EV’s, and hopefully governments can follow.” McNeall added, “The Queensland government, so far, is the only state that has really thrown its weight behind electric vehicle charging.” Indeed, Queensland made a significant investment to help electrical vehicle owners by building a super-highway that will enable complete Cairns to Coolangatta as well as Brisbane to Toowoomba travels.
The EV chargers are free to use for the initial 12 months of operation, then fees will be introduced at $45 for an average car. Canberra also plans to roll-out 50 dual EV chargers on its government sites to help with the total shift to electric government vehicles by 2022. Although, it’s not certain if private EVs can access these charge points. Aside from Queensland and Canberra, others states have not taken action yet.
Nevertheless, the Electric Highway still came into reality despite the lack of assistance from governments. In fact, the number of charge points will grow even further over the next few years thanks to a number of companies. Tesla is planning to add 18 more stations on the east coast to the current 500 destination chargers that are already installed all over Australia. A Tesla supercharger can fully-charge an average car in an hour. However, these superchargers and destination chargers are only available for Tesla electric cars.
Aside from Tesla, Jaguar Land Rover is also planning to install a big charging network around the country, which will consist of 150 charging stations (100kW DC chargers) and cost up to $4 million. This network installment was announced ahead of the I-PACE all-electric SUV release this year. This will be Jaguar Land Rover’s first electric vehicle.
Hopefully, all these initiatives will help increase the sales of electric vehicles in Australia over the next few years to come. Last year, only 0.01 percent of all new vehicles sold in the country were electric cars. This electric vehicle charging network by TOCA and AEVA is a great initiative to encourage Aussies to go green.
For more details on the Electric Project’s EV chargers network, visit TOCA’s website.
If you’re thinking of making the switch to do your part for the environment, get in touch with the consultants at Aussie Car Loans today to help you finance your transition to an electric vehicle.