National highway electric vehicle fast charging
By 2040, electric vehicles (EVs) are projected to account for 70% to 100% of new vehicle sales and at least 30% of the vehicle ﬂeet in Australia. According to the Electric Vehicle Council, more than 19,500 EVs have been sold in Australia since 2011. In 2021, over 8,500 EVs were sold.
Moving from internal combustion engines to electric vehicle technology will result in nationally signiﬁcant fuel and maintenance cost savings, and environmental beneﬁts.
However, lack of access to charging stations has been identiﬁed by over half of motorists as a key barrier to the adoption of EVs. Although there has been an increase in charging stations since 2018, partly supplied by the private sector, the latest information from the Electric Vehicle Council suggests that Australia currently has less than 3,500 public charging stations, of which approximately 470 are fast charging. Other key barriers to the adoption of EVs include the currently high vehicle prices, model availability, and the distance over which they can travel on a single charge.Establishing a network of fast-charging stations on, or in proximity to, the national highway will help to overcome the ‘access to charging facilities’ barrier and reduce consumer anxiety about EV range.
It is expected that the distance vehicles can travel on a single charge will continue to improve with technological advancements, and that vehicle prices will reduce as production scale increases and the cost of batteries reduces.
National policies and regulation to complement the roll-out of fast-charging infrastructure would reduce the risk of competing standards and redundant investments, and maximise inter-operability.
Significant progress has been made by state and territory proponents in developing strategies and plans, as well as committing funding for delivery of new EV charging locations. Australia currently has ~3,000 public charges, but only, a small portion (~16%) are fast-charging. The 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan identifies that uptake of EVs will have broad implications for the structure and operation of the energy market with increase demand and place pressure on local distribution infrastructure.
The proposal includes:
developing a network of fast-charging stations on, or in proximity to, the national highway network to provide national connectivity
- developing policies and regulation to support charging technology adoption.
Complementary investment in network infrastructure may be required to ensure that the electricity generation and distribution network can provide reliable electricity supply for additional electric vehicle chargers.
Proponents to develop potential investment options for EV fast-charging (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework) that consider recommendations of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan that relate to EVs (and corresponding energy demand and distribution).
Refer to Infrastructure Glossary for terms and definitions.