Fast charging network: if you build it, they will come

Australian states are falling over each other to bring fast chargers to the public. Western Australia has the longest electric highway in the country. Queensland is expanding the QESH (Queensland Electric Superhighway) westward to the gem fields of Emerald, the dinosaurs of Winton and the mining town of Mt Isa.

Now New South Wales is planning to install 1000 “fast” charging bays along major routes. Just as well, as many Tesla Model 3s are being delivered to anxious customers this week after waiting for the electric vehicle subsidy to start on September 1.

New South Wales claims the bragging rights as the state with more electric vehicle charging stations than all other Australian states and territories combined. This competition between states can only lead to good things for electric vehicle drivers. The 350 kW chargers being installed mean you can charge in the same time it takes to have a cup of coffee. They should sell the rights to the coffee vans at the loading station.

Interestingly, New South Wales Minister of Energy Matt Kean is calling this part of his own Master Plan. Drive a Tesla Model 3.

On our recent trip to Winton, a quick review of PlugShare Data at the places we stopped revealed that there were not too many electric cars using QESH, and even fewer using destination chargers in hotels. However, as sales volume increases, as will undoubtedly happen, there will need to be more than one charger at each station.

Next year we hope to drive through NSW and down to Victoria (covid if you like), and we will review the charging infrastructure in person. Until then, we wish NSW the best and hope that chargers can keep up with the Teslas, Volvos, BYD and Hyundais charges coming to Australia.

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