Western Australia will soon be home to the longest electric highway in Australia with the State Government today announcing the 45 locations that will make up the electric vehicle fast-charging network.
The infrastructure network includes up to 90 fast-charging stations and backup chargers at 45 different locations connecting Perth and regional Western Australia – stretching north to Kununurra, south to Esperance and east to Kalgoorlie.
Electric vehicle owners will easily be able to travel the state along these routes, with the average distance between charging stations around 160 kilometres. Most electric cars can run for at least 400 kilometres in one charge and it is expected the technology will continue to improve over the next few years.
The network will allow electric vehicles to be charged in as little as 15 minutes and locations have been selected to encourage tourists to spend this time exploring a local regional town.
A tender for the charging stations’ design is expected to go out to market by the end of 2021, with the network expected to be fully operational by early 2024.
The locations of the stations have been determined by energy providers Synergy and Horizon Power in consultation with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The announcement forms a part of the Western Australian Government’s $21 million Electric Vehicle Fund and the State Electric Vehicle Strategy for Western Australia.
Environment and Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said Western Australia is a vast state and the huge fast-charging network will give electric vehicle owners confidence they can travel far and wide by eliminating any concerns around range anxiety.
“This infrastructure is a key to boosting electric vehicle uptake in the state and helps continue the transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Minister Sanderson said.
“The charging time will provide EV owners the perfect opportunity to stop in at a local business for lunch or a coffee in a welcome boost for our regional towns.”
Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the McGowan Government is preparing for the future, with 20 per cent of new car sales in Australia expected to be electric by 2030.
“This is an exciting and important task for Synergy, Horizon Power and Western Power, with the 45 locations spanning more than 3,000 kilometres across the state,” Minister Johnston said.
“An electric vehicle charged using the state’s main electricity grid will generate 30 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional petrol vehicle.”
“I’m also pleased to launch the Electric Vehicle Action Plan, which will prepare our electricity system for the rapid uptake in electric vehicles and ensure it stays safe, secure and reliable,” he said.