The WA Government has removed significant barriers to mass adoption of battery electric vehicles (BEV) by committing to building the longest electric highway in Australia.
A significant barrier to the adoption of BEVs is the lack of infrastructure to recharge these vehicles as they traverse across the state, with most electric cars being able to run for 400km in one charge, according to the Government.
The proposed infrastructure network includes up to 90 fast-charging stations and back-up chargers at 45 locations from Kununurra, to Esperance, and Kalgoorlie.
The average distance between charging stations will be around 160km.
According to the State Electric Vehicle Strategy for Western Australia, improvements in battery technology and reduction in costs, together with stricter vehicle emission standards and targets in many jurisdictions around the world, have led to increasing adoption of electric vehicles.
As part of the strategy, and Electric Vehicle Fund of $21 million aimed at supporting:
Electric vehicle uptake;
Charging and refueling infrastructure;
Standards, guidelines and planning approval requirements; and
Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly and Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the strategy was developed to prepare for the transition to low and zero-emission electric vehicles and to maximise the benefits to the state.
“The electric vehicle transition holds the promise of cleaner, more efficient transportation with a significant role for Western Australian industry,” they said.
“The actions outlined in this strategy, accompanied by the investment of $21 million, are an important element of the State Government’s Western Australian Climate Policy.”
Environment and Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said the fast-charging network would 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 vehicle uptake in the State and helps continue the transition to net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” she 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.”