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NSW, Victorian politicians pledge to power electric vehicles

Electric vehicle drivers will soon have more charging options.

Electric vehicle drivers will soon have more charging options. Photo: Getty

Australia’s electric vehicle drivers could plug in to hundreds of additional charging locations over the next two years, as New South Wales and Victorian political parties pledge millions to expand charging networks.

NSW will add another 500 electric vehicle charging bays in cities and on highways over the next two years in a $39.4 million commitment to powering up Australia’s EV network.

The fast and ultra-fast charging stations will be equipped to boost most electric car batteries by 60 per cent in just 15 minutes.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the multi-million funding commitment was the first of three funding rounds from the state’s Fast Charging Grants program, with “hundreds more stations to be built over the coming years”.

“This investment will see the largest, fastest and most comprehensive public EV charging network in Australia,” Mr Kean said.

“The ultra-fast chargers will be able to charge modern EVs from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in around 15 minutes and all stations will be fully powered with renewable energy.”

The fast and ultra-fast chargers will be built in 86 locations, with each station offering bays for between four and 15 vehicles. Their locations range from Mildura and Wagga Wagga to Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Byron Bay and Newcastle.

Ampol, BP, Evie Networks, Tesla, the NRMA and Zeus Renewables will build the charging stations over the next 24 months.

The chargers will add to the NSW network of 347 public EV charging locations, including 118 fast and ultra-fast chargers, according to the EV Council’s State of Electric Vehicles report released this month.

Australia had 2147 public EV charging locations by June this year – up 15 per cent from early 2021 – with most in NSW, followed by Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia.

But Victoria could close the gap on NSW after the state’s Liberal and National parties promised to co-fund 600 electric vehicle charging stations in a $50 million election pledge.

Victorian Liberal Party deputy leader David Southwick said the coalition would work with businesses, local councils and community organisations to establish EV charging stations.

“By rolling out an extra 600 charging stations across the state, we will boost charging access and reduce the barriers to entering the electric vehicle market,” he said.

“The more electric vehicles we have on our roads, the more Victorians can save on spiralling fuel costs and we can achieve our emissions reductions targets.”

The Victorian opposition also promised to “pause” the state’s tax on electric vehicles until 2027 at a cost of $82.2 million.

The announcements come one week before submissions close to the federal government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy consultation paper.

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