ChargingTouring an Electric Vehicle in South Australia: Why a Renewable Pacesetter Is...

Touring an Electric Vehicle in South Australia: Why a Renewable Pacesetter Is So Slow on Fast Chargers

South Australia is a renewable energy leader, producing 50% of its electricity from renewable sources. Yet South Australia lags far behind other states when it comes to electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

A recent road trip from Perth to Sydney using a Tesla Model Y clarified this. Travel over Nullarbor was made relatively painless thanks to crowd-funded DC chargers (such as Biofil’s fish’n’chips unit) between Balladonia and Madura, plus three phase 32A plugs installed by AEVA/TOCA at Eucla BV, Nullarbor and Penong.

However, in regional South Australia, we were limited to overnight charging from 10/15A GPOs or Tesla destination chargers at Ceduna, Port Augusta, and Port Lincoln accommodations; this was manageable but in stark contrast to NSW, where an almost faultless NRMA charging network covers regional areas – even small places like Wilcannia!

Why has South Australia been so slow to deploy EV charging infrastructure?

Answers can be complex, but one place to look at is the energy wars under the previous LNP Federal government. South Australia experienced a statewide blackout that was blamed on renewables reliance. As a result, many became disillusioned with renewables, prompting federal funding cuts for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

South Australia had to prioritize stabilizing its grid and preventing further blackouts over EV charging – leaving this activity on hold.

However, things are beginning to change. In 2020, the South Australia state government released an ambitious EV action plan with ambitious targets for developing charging infrastructure, including an investment from RAA of $12.3 million for chargers and funding from the Federal government for an NRMA network of national DC chargers rolled out nationwide.

Read Also – Australia’s Largest Vehicle-to-Grid Charging Station Opens to Supplement Wind and Solar

South Australia recently unveiled its inaugural DC charger and is on track to complete its rollout by 2024. This development marks a huge step forward in increasing EV tourism within South Australia. It makes South Australia more desirable as an EV owner’s destination.

As for charging infrastructure in South Australia, EV drivers planning a road trip should prepare for overnight charging from 10/15A GPOs; however, Tesla destination chargers and the NRMA network have expanded considerably, so it should still be possible to enjoy an enjoyable EV road trip here!

Here are more details regarding EV charging in South Australia:

South Australia currently boasts 50 public EV chargers, with 10 DC chargers installed by the RAA. Their goal is to add another 140 chargers across South Australia by 2024.

The Federal government is funding a network of national DC chargers, including some in South Australia. Meanwhile, NRMA operates an extensive EV charger network across Australia – some are here!

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