Western Australia getting 70 rural EV charging stations

When you can finally charge anywhere, range anxiety will become obsolete.

Look at the map of Western Australia above and you'll notice something significant: there are not a lot of cities or large towns once you venture away from Perth. Yet WA News reports that one Australian couple already managed a 5, 400-km trip from Perth to Broome in their Tesla Model S. But it took some planning.

Now that trip should get a whole lot easier, says WA News, because the Western Australia branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association is teaming up with Western Australia's biggest electricity retailer to fund and install 70 electric vehicle charge points in rural and remote towns in the next few months, as well as three-phase sockets for faster charging in towns and roadhouses on major roads.

This is a pretty big deal for all of us. Whether or not we are ever likely to drive around Western Australia in a plug-in car, the fact that charging stations are popping up in remote locations across the world should give us the confidence that range anxiety doesn't really need to be a thing anymore.

Between Tesla's massive ramp up of superchargers and destination chargers, the growing number of 'convenience' charging stations at shopping centers, parking lots, restaurants and breweries, the arrival of 200+ and even 300+ electric car models, and the fact that many of these models will be able to charge faster than the current crop of cars, most of us can be confident that we'll have all the range we need, and convenient places to charge, to get us where we need to go. Most of us newbie electric car drivers are surprised how rarely we really "need" to charge anywhere but at home.

Still, human psychology is a weird thing, and most of us want to know that we'll be fine, even in the most extreme case we can think of. I have a family member, for example, who has been mulling the purchase of an all electric car—but he's not ready to make the purchase until there's a decent network of charging stations in rural Lapland. (To be fair, he goes hiking in rural Lapland a a couple of times a year.) This news coming out of Western Australia, as well as Tesla's map of existing and imminent (end of 2017) superchargers and destination chargers, suggests that day is not too far off:

Tesla Superchargers Lapland photo© Tesla

In fact, I just checked—Western Australia is getting its first supercharger in Bunbury, too. This is just one more case for investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure everywhere—even when the ones that get used rarely serve the purpose of encouraging adoption and decreasing range anxiety for all of us.

And that's a good thing for any of us who like to breathe air.

Tags: Australia | Electric Cars | Electric Vehicles

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