Electric Car | Electric Car Devotees Push For Electric Highway In Western Australia
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Electric Car | Electric Car Devotees Push For Electric Highway In Western Australia

Australia’s first ‘electric highway’ will be rolled out in Western Australia if Perth devotees of the cars have their way.

The push is on for a network of charging stations in up to 35 towns in Western Australia’s south west,including the tourist getaway of Margaret River.

It would be a game changer for electric vehicle (EV) owners, many of whom currently think twice about leaving the city.

“You can’t just drop into a petrol station,” said Patti McBain, whose converted Ford Focus has a range of about 125 kilometres.

“You have to plug in somewhere.”

The fear of running out of charge is called “range anxiety” in electric car vernacular, a dialect that also includes the term “EV grin”.

“That’s the big silly grin you get on your face when you put your foot to the floor, you twist the throttle and you’re like, wow, this is really cool,” said Chris Jones, another self-confessed EV addict and member of the Electric Vehicle Association.

“It’s a very unique driving experience, it’s silent, it’s smooth. The instantaneous torque is really something to behold.”

To date, only a tiny percentage of Australian drivers have experienced the “EV grin”.

There are still only about 700 EVs on the road in Australia, compared to about 180,000 in the United States and 21,000 in Norway.

Kirsten Rose of the Sustainable Energy Association says Australia is lagging behind due to the lack of public policy on electric cars.

“There is little or no support for getting these cars on the road at the moment,” she said.

Ms Rose says Australia needs to follow the lead of the US and Europe and introduce financial incentives, such as rebates, if it is to get up to speed with the benefits of EVs.

“In our cities, air quality and air pollution is an increasing issue and EVs have no emissions so there is a very significant public health benefit that needs to be quantified,” she said.

The Motor Trade Association agrees incentives need to be introduced if electric cars are to move from a niche market into the mainstream.

Chief executive Stephen Moir says although prices are falling, the average electric vehicle on

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