Australia Gets An Electric Highway Of Its Own – Finally
If any country really needed an electric highway to help its citizen more easily embrace electric vehicles, it was Australia. Geographically in the country, it is a struggle for small range EVs to exit their home bases, and the political environment has made ownership difficult financially to say the least.
However, last week Australia officially got in the game with the RAC (Royal Automotive Club) Electric Highway; the first* of its kind in the country.
(“First” EV highway provided of course you don’t count the remains of the now deceased Better Place electrified route between Sydney and Newcastle)
Announced by RAC executive general manager Pat Walker, the route will have some 130 charging ports between the much travelled Perth and South-West.
“We see the RAC Electric Highway as a positive and real contribution toward the growth of this new form of vehicle technology, namely electric vehicles,” the GM said. “It will provide the infrastructure required to help eliminate the issues currently facing owners of electric vehicles, including range anxiety and for the first time, it will also provide the opportunity for electric vehicles to now visit the state’s South-West.”
Growth is practically assured in this case as PerthNow reports only 150-odd EVs or any sort are owned in Western Australia.
Each station is painted yellow for easy visibility and features both DC fast charging and AC slow charging.
“The Trio fast charging station has three cables, CHAdeMO fast charging, CCS Combo 1 fast charging and an AC cable that can deliver up to 43kW AC to type 2 IEC62196-2 (Mennekes) compatible cars such as the Tesla Model S.”
RAC says they will cover the cost of the stations and installation, while regional governments will have to look after maintenance of the units.
Use of the network, which will include stations located in Perth, Bunbury, Mandurah, Margaret River, Dunsborough, Nannup, Augusta, Bridgetown, Harvey and Donnybrook, will be free to use through the end of the year, with the local governments who are maintaining the stations then allowed to set charge rates (if any) in the new year.