Bold plan for Australian highways
AN American-led group wants to plug into Australia's growing electric vehicle fleet by building the nation's first highway network of charging stations.
Stage one of the project would see more than 80 ultra-fast charging points established at 42 sites, the companies promise.
The site would be roughly 150km apart, have easy payment systems through an app, and would be open 24-hours-a-day every day, the project partners said today.
The objective is to back up the network with a digital platform to allow motorists to manage their use of the chargers and for the company to track demand.
It will offer charging at "select highway locations" which would provide a "charging experience similar to that of refuelling a conventional internal combustion engine".
The funding of the project has not been revealed yet.
And the aim is for all electricity to come from renewables.
The joint project was announced in the US today by Australia's Evie Networks and the American partner EV Connect.
It has the potential to encourage greater adoption of electric-powered cars by reducing concerns over the distance those vehicles can travel without running out of juice and unable to re-charge.
"For Australia to fully realise all the benefits of EVs, we have to reduce range and charging anxiety by giving drivers access to charging and information about chargers, no matter where they travel," the CEO of EV Connect Jordan Ramer said today in a statement.
Mr Ramer said the project would "open the door to long-distance travel for electric vehicles by making charging more accessible and easy to use for drivers and more manageable for network operators".
It is the latest example of private enterprise ignoring the Coalition's scare campaign during the election when Labor said 50 per cent of new vehicles would be electric powered by 2030 and that appropriate infrastructure would be needed to service the EV revolution.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told voters, as the scare tactics peaked, that Labor policy was "a war on the weekend," claiming families would for some reason would not be able to go on weekend drives.
Mr Morrison stood beaming next to Liberal frontbencher Michaelia Cash as she claimed trades people would lose their vehicles under Labor policy.
"We are going to stand by our tradies. We are going to save their utes," said Senator Cash during the election campaign, which included the false claim Labor wanted to tax electric vehicles .
The weakness of the Liberal scare was highlighted when it was noted that former Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg - now Treasurer - in January 2018 wrote an opinion piece announcing "the electric car revolution is nigh".
Mr Frydenberg said obstacles included the range of vehicles and the absence of infrastructure - the very points Labor was making.