Labor promises Australia-wide EV charging network

Federal Labor has promised to ‘fill the gaps’ in Australia’s electric vehicle charging network, announcing a plan to fund new fast-chargers along some of Australia’s major highways.

Addressing the official launch of the Labor election campaign in Perth, Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the expanded network would allow Australians to “drive an electric vehicle across the country.”

The electric vehicle charging network will be expanded in partnership with the NRMA, which already operates a network of around 50 fast chargers throughout New South Wales.

Under the pledged $39.3 million network expansion, additional fast chargers will be rolled out at 150-kilometre intervals along major highways, including those crossing large sections of remote and regional Australia.

This will include closing ‘gaps’ within the current charger network, providing charging stations across Nullarbor, linking Adelaide and Perth, as well as main highways between Darwin, Broome and Perth, Broken Hill to Adelaide, and between Brisbane and Mt Isa and across to Tennant Creek.

In addition to the charger rollout, Labor has pledged to establish a $500 million ‘Driving the Nation Fund’, which would effectively double an existing $250 million Future Fuels Fund established by the Morrison government

Labor’s climate and energy spokesperson, Chris Bowen, said the funding would be managed through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which would be used to fund additional electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as support new hydrogen and biofuel projects.

While launching Labor’s election campaign in Perth, Albanese announced that a Labor gover would also provide co-funding to support the establishment of electric bus manufacturing in Perth.

In collaboration with the Western Australian state government, a federal Labor would contribute to a combined $250 million investment in electric bus manufacturing facilities and the purchase of electric buses by the Labor state government.

WA premier Mark McGowan said the state government would commit to purchasing around 130 of the locally manufactured electric buses, to be incorporated into the Perth public transport system.

Additional funding would be used to upgrade Perth’s bus depot with servicing infrastructure and bus charging systems.

It is a positive step forward for the WA state government, which had disappointed electric transport advocates when it announced it would stick with diesel bus models when renewing contracts for its public transport network in 2019.


Tags: Australia, EV charging, EVs, Federal Labor, New South Wales, NRMA
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