Originally published on RenewEconomy.
By Sophie Vorrath
More than 70 electric vehicle charge points are set to be installed throughout rural and remote Western Australia, as the state’s largest retailer prepares for a not-too distant future where EVs are “ubiquitous” on the nation’s roads.
The initiative, a team effort by Synergy and the WA branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association, is installing three-phase charge points in towns and roadhouses on all major roads in the south and east of the state, as well as some remote locations in the north.
It follows the launch, on Monday this week, of the first of many fast-charging electric vehicle stations being rolled out along the Queensland coast, to form the State’s Electric Super Highway.
The superhighway – which is expected be the world’s longest electric vehicle superhighway in one state, extending from the Gold Coast to the Far North – is being funded by the state Labor government, as part of an effort to facilitate increased uptake of electric vehicles in Queensland.
State energy minister Mark Bailey said on Monday that the fast-charging stations would also be available for use by EV drivers at no cost for the initial phase of the super highway.
In WA, the government-owned retailer’s joint venture with WA AEVA is being described as a simple initiative, but with a wide-reaching impact.
“Electric vehicles will be ubiquitous before you know it, so this is just one way Synergy is helping lead West Australians to a more intelligent energy future” said Synergy spokesman Glen Elliot in comments on Thursday.
Indeed, the initiative is already well underway, with individuals arranging for sockets to be installed at key locations ahead of a long trip, and most towns keen to be involved.
“The industrial three-phase socket has become the sort of ‘bush standard’ for charging on long road trips” said AEVA member and Tesla Model S owner.
“I can add about 100 km of range for every hour of charge from one of these sockets.”
For local businesses who opt to host a charge point, there are benefits too, giving EV drivers and their families extra incentive to make a stop.
“It’s been really positive for the business. Drivers will usually stop for 45 minutes or more so the car can charge while you have lunch and relax,” said Ryan Duff, who along with business partner Simon Maylor installed three EV charge points at their Albany Highway business, Williams Woolshed earlier this year.
And according the the AEVA, the program won’t just stop at the WA border – the Association has also teamed up with the Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA) nationally to ensure a series of EV charge points stretch right around the country, with the route expected to be complete before the end of the year.
For more information about the AEVA/Synergy socket installation program, contact the AEVA on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reprinted with permission.