Electric car owners take action

Rather than wait for government action, an electric vehicle owners’ group got on with the job of ensuring a charger covers Australia’s most popular routes.

An “Electric Highway” three-year project is nearing completion, transforming many parts of populated Australia where there were previously few or no electric vehicle chargers available.

The voluntary initiative of the Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA) split the costs of the power points with the Australian Electric Vehicle Association to fill the 10,000km of gaps, news.com.au reports.

The route now spans 17,000km, which means EVs can go around Australia.

The network comprises 32 amp three-phase chargers which are about an average 200km apart. The furthest distance between charge points is 400km. Most of the chargers can add 110km of range in 30 minutes.

Richard McNeall, a TOCA member and co-ordinator of the Round Australia Project, told RenewEconomy, the project shows Australians can make a change without having to wait for the government to take action.

“We’re endeavouring to show that there is ‘people power’ behind the drive to EV’s, and hopefully governments can follow,” he says.

“The Queensland government, so far, is the only state that has really thrown its weight behind electric vehicle charging.”

Earlier this year, the Queensland government completed its electric car “super highway” which allows electric car owners to drive from Coolangatta to Cairns.

Charging up at EV at the stations is free for the first year before fees are introduced, bringing the cost to charge an average car to about $45.

However, the completion of TOCA’s major people-power project comes as international experts have slammed the slow rollout of electric cars in Australia.

Despite their appeal growing slowly in Europe, China and the US, electric cars accounted for just 0.01% of new vehicle sales in Australia last year.

Source: Autotalk

14 Jun 2018

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