Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has officially opened Electric Highway Tasmania, a state-wide fast and ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging network which is capable of ensuring mid-range EVs can travel almost anywhere across the state where there is a bitumen road.
Electric Highway Tasmania’s charging network boasts twelve 50kW charging stations across the state at Burnie, Devonport, Scottsdale, St Helens, Swansea, Derwent Bridge, Queenstown, Kempton, New Norfolk, Geeveston, Hobart, and Launceston, where the ceremony was eld.
Two ultra-rapid charging stations at Campbell Town and Kings Meadows are also part of the network, offering charging rates of up to 350kW.
“With Tasmania now being 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewable energy, we are ideally suited to benefitting from more electric vehicles in our state,” said Clive Attwater, the managing director of EHT.
“You can drive your electric vehicle to almost any point in the state using this power and know there will be fast and ultra-rapid chargers to ensure you can finish your journey.
“The establishment of a truly statewide network means any electric vehicle capable of 200 kilometres on one charge, can now comfortably drive almost anywhere within the state and know that they will be able to charge their vehicle to 80 per cent in less than an hour,” Attwater added.
“For those using the ultra-rapid chargers, as technology improves these charge rates will increase significantly making an 80 per cent charge within a coffee break a reality.”
The network has been backed by grants of $525,930 to the twelve sites from the Tasmanian Governments, while the two ultra-rapid charging stations were funded by Evie and Chargefox, respectively, with additional funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Chargefox was originally intended to deliver Tasmania’s first ultra-rapid charger in Campbell Town, as was reported back in May 2019, but Evie Networks actually beat them to it with the opening in August 2020 of an ultra-rapid charging station.
More fast chargers are planned by providers to further expand the Electric Highway Tasmania charging network, ensuring greater coverage and capacity for the network as it expects an increase in EV use, as well as fostering what Attwater termed “green tourism”.
“The fast network also provides the essential ingredient for car rental companies to now offer EVs and to makes it possible for more fleets to consider EVs too,” said Attwater.
“Already we see interstate drivers using the network and on social media mainland EV drivers are discussing their planned tours of Tasmania. Green tourism is the future.”
Gutwein said that with Tasmania now being 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewable energy, and committed to increasing this to 200 per cent of our current needs by 2040, it was ideally suited to electric vehicles.
“It is clear that transport globally is undergoing a transition towards low emissions vehicles, and we are ensuring we have the infrastructure and networks in place so that Tasmanians, and visitors, alike can benefit,” he said.