Originally published on RenewEconomy.
by Sophie Vorrath
Western Australia has installed a network of 12 electric vehicle fast charging stations, connecting Perth to Augusta – the most south-westerly town in Australia – that can fully charge an EV in just 30 minutes.
The 310km “electric highway” was co-funded by the RAC – the charging technology was supplied by locally-based firm, E-Station – and is being billed as a first of its kind for Australia.
The route was strategically chosen, according to reports, to encompass popular tourist spots around the region, with chargers also planned for Nannup, Busselton and Margaret River.
It is hoped the publicly accessible chargers – which are free to use until the end of the year – will encourage more WA drivers to buy electric vehicles. Currently, the state has fewer than 150 EV owners.
According to the MotorReport, local councils along the route have either agreed or are in talks with the RAC to maintain the chargers once they are installed, but whether they will offer free electricity to drivers or charge them to use the facilities ($3-$5 per charge) is unclear.
RAC president Esme Bowen said she hoped the bright yellow charging stations – supplied by e-station would at least get people talking about EVs.
“I think it’s just about getting people exposed to them and I think this highway will give people the opportunity to think, ‘What’s that car doing? What does it do? What does it mean?’,” Bowen told the ABC Online.
A 430km “fast cities network” is also being planned to link northern NSW and Queensland, featuring 12 of local Brisbane company Tritium’s industry-leading Veefil fast chargers, installed at points strategically located along major transport corridors between Noosa and Byron Bay (NSW).