The first ultra-rapid electric vehicle charger has opened in Tasmania, at the northern city of Launceston in Kings Meadow.
Powered by 100% renewable energy, the Chargefox charger has a maximum charge rate of 350kW and can add up to 400km range in as little as 15 minutes to an electric car.
Installed by Chargefox on behalf of Tasmanian motorist association RACT, the ultra-rapid charging site will give residents and tourists to the region alike the ability to easily recharge eco-friendly electric vehicles (EVs).
“It is pleasing to see the continued rollout of EV charging infrastructure across the state. We see this as a rapidly growing area for Tasmanians and visitors alike,” said Stacey Pennicott, executive general manager for membership and community at RACT in a statement.
Marty Andrews, Chargefox CEO, said in a statement the location is ideal because it connects Devonport and Launceston in the North as well as Hobart in the South.
“It gives EV drivers, both local and interstate, the ability to take their EV on a road trip around Tasmania with the peace of mind they can charge quickly,” says Andrews.
Tasmania joins Victoria, NSW and Queensland in being able to boast ultra-rapid fast charging technology, and Chargefox says South Australia and Western Australia will follow in coming months, making EV charging faster and easier for all Australians.
However, the rollout of electric vehicle fast charging infrastructure could – and should – be faster.
The release of Infrastructure Australia’s 2020 infrastructure priority list this week indicates that EV network rollout is a “high priority”.
All well and good – but it said the same thing a full twelve months ago in the 2019 priority list.
“The price of EVs is dropping and range is rising, but our leaders are pumping the brakes by not adequately supporting new charging infrastructure,” said CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council Behyad Jafari in a note by email.
“Australians can and should be able to drive all over this massive nation with complete confidence in a zero-emission vehicle. The technology exists. We just need the political will to make it happen.”
Drivers can use the new Tasmanian ultra-rapid charging station for free until the end of March to give residents and tourists alike the opportunity to try out the chargers.
“We aim to make EV charging as fast and easy as possible for all Australians, and we’re excited to be leading the way in delivering world leading infrastructure backed by renewable energy,” says Andrews.
“This new site in Tasmania is the next stepping stone on our journey to connect Australia’s major cities for the thousands of drivers using efficient, clean electric vehicles.”
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.