By Mark Borlace
Published: Friday, February 22, 2019
With electric vehicle purchases surging, more needs to be done to ensure infrastructure and economic support is available, explains RAA future mobility expert Mark Borlace.
In the past six years South Australians have bought hundreds of electric vehicles, and motorists are expected to purchase more in the coming years due to a number of factors including high fuel prices.
This surge means more needs to be done to ensure infrastructure and economic support is available for the potential influx on our roads.
South Australia could be friendlier towards electric vehicles, with more fast-charging stations available in areas of concentrated retail and employment.
Currently, South Australia has approximately 80 public charging stations, with about half of those scattered around regional locations.
Due to some South Australian towns being hundreds of kilometres apart, and most electric vehicles having a limited range, you’ll be in a bit of trouble if you want to make a cross-country trip from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges.
It’s for this reason a comprehensive network of fast chargers with standardised fittings is needed in country towns and along highways.
Australian start-up Chargefox is trying to change that, as it looks to build Australia’s largest public network of electric vehicle rapid-charging stations.
RAA, along with other Australian mobility clubs, is helping fund the new project, which will see these stations installed every 200km between Adelaide and Melbourne.
While more charging stations are necessary, in the future the majority of electric vehicles will be able to be recharged at home overnight.
Due to their high purchase price, it’s likely that most electric-car-owning households will also own a petrol-powered vehicle.
The electric car will likely be used for the commute to work, while the petrol-powered vehicle will perform longer journeys.
South Australia’s large amount of renewable energy could also be a benefit for electric vehicles.
In the future, electric vehicles could complement energy storage and feed the grid much like your household solar battery system.
South Australia has some infrastructure in place that’s ready for electric vehicles, but because we’re a nation that loves touring and driving long distances, the cleaner car’s role is limited to metro commuting in SA for now.