In Australia, the Tasmanian Government has launched a second Electric Vehicle ChargeSmart Grants program, providing $600,000 (AUS) for fast and destination charging stations for electric cars in regional Tasmania and at key tourism destinations.
This second ChargeSmart Grants round for the Australian island state will see individual grants of up to $50,000 towards fast-charging stations, and individual grants of up to $2,500 towards destination charging stations. The previous program supported the installation of 14 fast chargers and 23 destination and workplace chargers across the state.
Tasmania, for those unfamiliar with the Antipodes, is the island at the bottom of Australia and has an area of 68.400 km² with a population of only around half a million people, (to give a comparison, Scotland is 78.772 km² and has a population of 5.4 million inhabitants). Almost one-third of the island is covered in virgin forest. This means Tasmania relies considerably on an income for tourism, particularly of the kind interested in the natural environment, and – presumably – in avoiding pollution. The low-density population is a challenge for infrastructure for electric cars, but the island state has already made good progress.
In February this year, Premier Peter Gutwein 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. At the end of last year, the state government pledged to transition its entire car fleet to battery-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen vehicles by 2030. An initiative for emission-free buses is also underway to determine whether hydrogen or electricity is more appropriate. Besides these initiatives, the Tasmanian government has allowed a two-year stamp duty waiver for electric vehicles and two-year free registration for hire car companies that purchase an electric vehicle.
Peter Gutwein, Premier and Minister for Climate Change, says: “We want to encourage even more Tasmanians and visitors to get out and explore Tasmania as we secure Tasmania’s future, and this program will boost our state’s reputation as a preferred tourism destination for electric vehicle owners.”
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