Tasmania has made progress in charging infrastructure. The Australian states’ Premier Peter Gutwein has formally opened the Electric Highway Tasmania, a state-wide fast-charging network. It comprises twelve 50 kW chargers as well as two ultra-rapid chargers.
The connected charging sites can be found at Burnie, Devonport, Scottsdale, St Helens, Swansea, Derwent Bridge, Queenstown, Kempton, New Norfolk, Geeveston, Hobart, and Launceston across Tasmania.
The two ultra-rapid charging stations at Campbell City and Kings Meadows provide charging charges at up to 350kW and count toward the Electric Highway Tasmania (EHT).
Says Clive Attwater, the managing director of EHT: “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.”
The Tasmanian government and municipalities had backed the network through grants of $525,930 to the twelve sites. These were allocated through a scheme announced in 2019 when Tasmanian organisations were asked to purchase and install DC charging stations. To receive funding of up to $50,000, these sites had to be open to the public and provide a minimum charge rate of 50kW.
The two ultra-rapid charging stations had been funded by Evie, which beat Chargefox to it, respectively, with extra funding assist from the Australian Renewable Power Company (ARENA). Chargefox was initially meant to ship Tasmania’s first ultra-rapid charger in Campbell City, as was reported back in September 2019 only for Evie Networks joining the call for fast-charging the sunburnt continent.
Although Australia’s governing Liberal Party has been notoriously slow on measures to support the uptake of electrification of transport, Tasmania’s Liberal Party government has taken a more active approach for a few years and also runs a dedicated Climate Change Office. The most recent measure announced last November sees the government pledging full fleet electrification by 2030. An initiative for emission-free buses is also underway to determine whether hydrogen or electricity is more appropriate.
Tasmania is about the same size as Ireland and boasts virgin forests over one-third of the entire island as well as endless wind, solar and wave energy, should these be appropriately harnessed.