WA to build Australia’s longest electric highway

Sleek electric vehicle in tunnel (electric highway)
Image: Shutterstock

Western Australia will be home to the longest electric highway in Australia by 2024, with the state government announcing the 45 locations that will make up the electric vehicle fast charging network.

The infrastructure network includes up to 90 fast charging stations and back-up chargers at 45 different locations connecting Perth and regional Western Australia—stretching north to Kununurra, south to Esperance and east to Kalgoorlie.

Electric vehicle owners will easily be able to travel the state along these routes, with the average distance between charging stations around 160km.

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Most electric cars can run for at least 400km in one charge and it is expected the technology will continue to improve over the next few years.

The network of charging stations along the electric highway will allow electric vehicles to be charged in as little as 15 minutes and locations have been chosen to encourage tourists to spend this time exploring a local regional town.

A tender for the charging stations’ design is expected to go out to market by the end of 2021, with the network expected to be fully operational by early 2024.

The locations of the stations along the electric highway have been determined by energy providers Synergy and Horizon Power in consultation with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

This announcement is part of the McGowan Government’s $21 million Electric Vehicle Fund and the State Electric Vehicle Strategy for Western Australia. 

The government has also launched the Electric Vehicle Action Plan, which provides a set of actions to prepare WA for a rapid uptake of electric vehicles and a new brochure for fleet managers.    

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These actions will make the electricity system more resilient and will support the continued uptake of rooftop solar.

“The McGowan Government is preparing for the future, with 20 per cent of new car sales in Australia expected to be electric by 2030,” Energy Minister Bill Johnston said.

“This is an exciting and important task for Synergy, Horizon Power and Western Power, with the 45 locations spanning more than 3,000km 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.”