You can now drive an electric car right around Australia without range anxiety

Tesla Model S’s travel charger plugged in. (Source: Tony Yoo)

  • Owners groups are on a mission to fill 10,000km of empty space between chargers.
  • Three-year project completed in May.
  • Average distance between 17,000km of charge points is 200km.

A group of Tesla owners have completed their mission to have charging points available at least every 100km.

In 2016, the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (WA) launched a mission to “create electric vehicle charging routes from Perth to Adelaide and Perth to Broome”.

Last year, the Tesla Owners Club of Australia resolved to complete the “Electric Highway”, committing itself to making at least 100km of range per hour available to all EV owners around Australia, and through the Red Centre.

In May, the circuit was completed:

Image: plugshare.com

And here’s how dire the situation was in March, 2015:

Image: plugshare.com

The goal was to have a maximum spacing of 300km between any two publicly available chargers. Only four sites are now off that maximum spacing, and the average nationwide is 200km.

The Red Centre route, according to teslaowners.org.au, is “100% driveable, with slow charging still at 2 points, and full completion expected by the end of 2018”.

The two groups have combined to get almost 17,000km of roads surveyed and mapped. They’ve negotiated charging access with every site, and provided outlets where they were needed. You can see them all on plugshare.com.

That’s such a mighty achievement, Tesla itself just gave the group a shoutout to its 2.7 million followers:

And it’s not just for use with Teslas. The group opted for a 32 amp, 3 phase network, which can be used by all EVs. That meant there are still some legacy 20 amp chargers on the route which can only add 70km per hour, but it’s just “a handful”.

Here’s one you’ll find in Nowendoc, NSW:

Picture: Tesla Owners Club of Australia

TOCA and AEVA have been providing them free for anyone interested in hosting the chargers, which can be mounted near any convenient power box.

The only caveat is property owners “must install it reasonably promptly at an accessible location, and agree to let electric vehicles charge there”.

Obviously, the more there are, the better, so the project is an ongoing one. If you want to help out, email TOCA here and they’ll help set you up.

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