WA to install the country’s longest electric highway

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Western Australia is set to install 90 new electric vehicle fast charging stations at 45 different locations stretching from Kununurra in the north, to Esperance in the south and Kalgoorlie in the state’s east. The EV charing stations will be located along what the government called “key travel routes”, with the network spanning a total distance of over 3,000 kilometres.

Each of the stations will be 160 kilometres apart on average, a distance intended to put EV drivers at ease.

The tender for the charging stations’ design is anticipated to hit the market by the end of the year, with the EV charging network expected to be fully operational by early 2024.

The stations will see EVs charged in as little as 15 minutes, with the McGowen government saying the locations were determined by the state-owned energy providers Synergy and Horizon Power in consultation with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, and aim to encourage tourists to explore regional towns while their cars charge.

WA’s Electric Vehicle Action Plan aims to prepare the state for a rapid uptake of EVs.

WA government

“Western Australia is a vast state and our huge fast-charging network will give electric vehicle owners confidence they can travel far and wide by eliminating any concerns around range anxiety,” Western Australia’s Environment and Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said.  “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.”

WA’s government today also launched its Electric Vehicle Action Plan, which aims to provide a set of actions to prepare the state for a rapid uptake of EVs. “The McGowan government is preparing for the future, with 20% of new car sales in Australia expected to be electric by 2030,” Energy Minister Bill Johnston said.

This year, the government’s plan is to focus on industry collaboration, sharing knowledge to integrate distributed energy resources (DERs), EV and batteries at fringe of grid. It also wants to ensure network operators have visibility of new connections while keeping the customer EV purchase and connection journeys simple.

The plan ramps up next year, when the state government will begin discussing EV tariffs, carrying out customer research, planning scenarios and developing models to assess uptake impacts. By 2024, the state is hoping to have consumer protections in place.

The new fast-charging network announcement is part of the state government’s $21 million Electric Vehicle Fund and the State Electric Vehicle Strategy for Western Australia. 

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