Regional areas in Tasmania will be more accessible for electric cars by the end of 2019, with the state’s first ultra-rapid charger to be installed at a strategic location in mid-eastern Campbell Town.
The 350kW charger, which allows electric cars to add 200km driving range in as little as 8-10 minutes – if they have the capacity to do so – will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and installed by EV charging network Chargefox.
The installation of the ultra-fast charger will be a significant milestone for Tasmania, which has about 250 electric vehicles and which only received its first 50kW DC fast charger in October 2018 in Launceston.
Campbell Town, which is situated on Tasmania’s Midland Highway, has been chosen for its position between Tasmania’s two largest cities, Hobart and Launcestion.
“Campbell Town is a very strategic part of Tasmania in terms of driving – it’s the midpoint of the North-South route and it unlocks regional tourism in the rest of the state,” Chargefox CEO Andrews said in a statement.
The idea is that travellers driving EVs between Tasmania’s northern and southern regions will be able to stop to recharge in the time it takes to have a coffee or a bite while taking that all important mid-trip break from driving.
Today, RACT and @Chargefox announced Tasmania’s 1st public ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging station will open in Campbell Town by end of 2019. Photos: Chargefox CEO, Marty Andrews, and RACT GM Mobility Services, Darren Moody. https://t.co/hrIhp3fwe8. #ElectricVehicle pic.twitter.com/wcMnSHoBGy
— RACT (@RACTOfficial) May 13, 2019
Stacey Pennicott, executive GM of membership and community for Tasmania’s motorist association RACT said DC ultra-fast chargers will reduce range anxiety for those wanting to travel around Tasmania in an electric car.
“RACT Destinations properties have charging stations installed but more are needed in cities, on main highways and in rural and regional areas.
“To be able to have ultra-fast rapid stations across the state, and connect the state particularly for tourism, we need to see the key sites addressed,” Pennicott said
Although Tasmania’s EV fleet is currently not large, Pennicott says a shift is in the offing.
“Tasmania’s take-up rate is not high, but certainly we are seeing some traction,” Ms Pennicott said.
“Electric vehicle technology is improving, and becoming more affordable, and it likely that the number of these vehicles in Tasmania will increase in the short to medium-term.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.