Tesla electric vehicle owners will now be able to charge up for the journey to Sydney in half an hour with the opening of Canberra’s first Tesla Supercharger station at Majura Park on Tuesday (23 October).
The Supercharger is capable of charging six Tesla electric vehicles at once and provides a driving distance of 270 kilometres, just shy of Sydney CBD but there is another Supercharger in Goulburn. There are two in Sydney, in Broadway and St Leonard’s on the lower North Shore.
Greens Member for Murrumbidgee Caroline Le Couteur, who opened the Supercharger with Labor Member for Yerrabi Suzanne Orr, said it would strengthen the existing network of electric vehicle charge stations across the region, including three rapid chargers and nine fast charge stations that are publicly available and accessible for all electric vehicle models.
The Government has also announced funding for 50 new charge stations across Canberra.
Ms Le Couteur said that by growing the electric vehicle network, the ACT continued to be a world leader in sustainability and renewable energy.
“It opens up a whole new world. If we’re going to make electric vehicles work in Canberra, we have to have lots of places where you can plug in and charge up,” she said.
“We’re next to a petrol station, so hopefully over a period of not so many years, all of the petrol service stations will start transiting to electric service stations. That’s what we need to do to have a sustainable transport system.”
Ms Le Couteur said the missing link from a Canberra point of view was the journey to the South Coast. “That’s the next big challenge,” she said.
There are Superchargers in Cooma and Narooma, with Nowra on the way.
The ACT’s Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan commits the Government to working with local and state governments to facilitate the installation of charging stations on major routes to and from Canberra, including routes to Sydney and coastal areas, tackling ‘range anxiety’ and promoting regional tourism and economic opportunities.
The opening of the Supercharger comes as The Guardian reported that another fast-charge network was being rolled out between Australia’s major cities.
It said Australian start-up Chargefox planned 21 sites on highways between Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, to be powered entirely by renewable energy. Sites are also planned for Western Australia.
The “ultra rapid” stations would allow electric vehicles to add up to 400km of range in a fraction of the hours it took to charge at existing points, with the first two in Euroa in Victoria and in Barnawartha North just outside Albury-Wodonga on the Victoria-NSW border.
At a summit of climate action councils in Kiama last week, Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury encouraged local jurisdictions to consider joining the ACT to coordinate a ‘bulk buy’ purchase of electric vehicles for government fleets.
The ACT Government has also pledged that at least half of all newly leased ACT Government fleet passenger vehicles will be zero-emissions vehicles in 2019-20 (where fit for purpose) and from 2020-21 that all will be zero emissions vehicles.
“This presents a unique opportunity for the ACT Government to negotiate a better deal with manufacturers, when it comes to a ‘bulk buy’ of electric vehicles in our fleet,” he said.
“Working closely with other councils who may also wish to expand their electric vehicle fleets, this strengthens our negotiating position and signals that there is a strong and growing demand for electric vehicles in the Australian market. These efforts will ensure that Canberra and the region is well-placed to take advantage of this growing global trend, including the flow-on economic benefits.”
To find the location of Tesla Superchargers in Australia go here.