Western Australia is the largest state (by land area) in the country at around 2.95 million square miles. This makes the challenge of creating an electric vehicle charging network even greater than Queensland, Australia’s 2nd largest state at 1.72M square miles. Australia’s east coast is powering along with DC fast chargers going in across Victoria, NSW and Queensland.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced this week, that they will build the longest electric highway in Australia.
$21 million will be spent on their Electric Vehicle Strategy which will see 45 locations and up to 90 fast chargers that will make up the EV fast-charging network.
The network will enable electric vehicles owners to travel along the west coast of the state, stretching from Kalgoorlie to Kununurra. The network will transit through the capital of WA, Perth which is home to more than 1.8M people.
What’s great about the amount of charging locations in this EV charging network, is that the average distance between charging stations is just 160 kilometres, more than every new EV on the market. Most electric cars have a range of at least 400 kilometres, and one of the most popular WA models (read: Tesla Model 3 LR) has a range of 580km (WLTP). This means pit stops on your weekend away, or the family vacation, are far more likely to be caused by the humans in the car, rather than the EV.
The locations of the stations have been determined by energy providers Synergy and Horizon Power in consultation with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The network will allow electric vehicles to be charged in as little as 15 minutes, which suggests the chargers will offer a 350kW charge rate, so likely to be from charging providers we’ve seen on the east coast – ABB or Tritium. Currently, there are just 9 public chargers with speeds of 120kW or higher and just 23 faster than 50kW.
With a project this size, it will take time to build out, with the network expected to be fully operational by early 2024. The build starts with a tender process for the charging station design, which is scheduled to go to market by the end of 2021.
“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.
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.
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.”Environment and Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson
Full list of EV charger locations
The locations where these fast chargers will be built are listed below.
This commitment by the WA Government helps to reassure potential EV buyers that there will be publicly available charging infrastructure available, removing one of their biggest concerns. It also opens up the possibilities for more businesses that have employees that travel for work, to consider EVs as part of their vehicle fleet.
While most charging occurs at home or work, having locations to fast charge at destinations, is critical to making EV ownership practical. Given the population density of the east coast, chargers are rolling out rapidly, adding to the already decent infrastructure from charging networks like Chargefox, EVIE and Tesla’s Superchargers.
Once this WA Electric Vehicle Charging Network is built, there does need to be a way to bridge the gap to South Australia. The trip between Kalgoorlie and Adelaide is a massive 22 hr 42 min drive at more than 2,162.0 km and currently, there are no fast-chargers along that route. It is technically possible to make the trip, but would require a couple of overnight stays (and charging sessions) to make it work.
“The McGowan Government is preparing for the future, with 20 per cent of new car sales in Australia expected to be electric by 2030.
This is an exciting and important task for Synergy, Horizon Power and Western Power, with the 45 locations spanning more than 3,000 kilometres across the State.
An electric vehicle charged using the State’s main electricity grid will generate 30 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional petrol vehicle.
I’m also pleased to launch the Electric Vehicle Action Plan, which will prepare our electricity system for the rapid uptake in electric vehicles and ensure it stays safe, secure and reliable.”Energy Minister Bill Johnston
You can read the full 28-page Electric Vehicle Action Plan – Preparing Western Australia’s electricity system for EVs right here. If you’re a fleet manager (or know someone who is), then you can access the ‘Guide to electric vehicles’ here.
This guide does a great job of highlighting the momentum behind electric vehicles. Almost all legacy OEMs have made electrification announcements including future goals to cease production of ICE vehicles. There is of course a suite of new EV-only automakers like Tesla, Rivian, Nio, XPeng and more.
- Volvo announced that every new car they launch from 2019 onwards will have an electric motor. By 2030, Volvo will only sell fully electric cars.
- Ford announced US$ 22 billion investment in EVs through 2026. They also target to use 100% locally sourced renewable electricity for all manufacturing plants by 2035.
- Hyundai aims for eco-friendly vehicles to comprise 25% of its total sales by 2025.
- Honda announced its commitment to strive for carbon neutrality by 2050. To reach the zero environmental impact objective by 2050, their target is to increase EVs sales ratio to 40% by 2030, to 80% by 2035, and to
- 100% by 2040.
- Toyota aims to sell more than 5.5 million electrified vehicles including more than 1 million ZEVs by 2030.
- General Motors committed to bring 30 new EVs by 2025 with a $35 billion investment in EV and AV product development between 2020 and 2025.13 GM’s net zero commitment: General Motors plans to become carbon neutral in its global products and operations by 2040.
- BMW has a goal to reduce emissions by 200 million tonnes with 50% sales from fully electric models by 2030.