EV fast-charging network listed as high priority
Independent statutory board Infrastructure Australia has listed a nationwide electric vehicle (EV) charging network as a high-priority initiative for 2019. Infrastructure Australiau2019s 2019 priority list details 121 infrastructure proposals for the next 15 years, of which eight are considered high-priority projects, 10 as priority projects, 29 as high-priority initiatives and 74 as priority initiatives. This marks the first time that an EV charging network has been included in the list. A report from Infrastructure Australia said: u201cThe advent of electric vehicles, along with automation, growth in the u2018sharing economyu2019 and technological connectivity, could bring the largest transformation the transport sector has seen since the shift from steam to diesel locomotives. u201cThe increase in electric-vehicle uptake will forge links between the energy and transport network that did not previously exist, placing additional demands on the grid and pressure on consumer costs. u201cThe 2019 Priority List highlights the need for investment in the connectivity and reliability of our National Electricity Market in the medium to long term, and optimisation in the near term.u201d The Electric Vehicle Council (EVC) welcomed the charging network proposal, with EVC chief executive Behyad Jafari suggesting that the lack of infrastructure is a bottle-neck for EV popularity in Australia. u201cInfrastructure Australia is the objective authority on what the nation needs to start building. If their experts recognise a national fast-charging network as a high priority, then governments should heed the call,u201d he said. u201cAustralians can and should be able to drive all over this massive nation with complete confidence in a zero-emission vehicle. The technology exists. We just need the political will to make it happen. u201cThe advantages of a mass transition to electric vehicles are manifest. Carbon emissions would fall, pollution in our cities would be phased out, our insecure dependence on foreign oil could be eradicated. u201cBut if we are to seize this exciting potential, we need governments to show the public that EVs are supported.u201d Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) CEO Tony Weber also supported the decision to make a charging network a priority in Australia. u201cElectric vehicles are a key component in the way of the future, so it is very pleasing to see further acknowledgement and real-world planning from Australian regulators on this technology,u201d he said. u201cAt the same time, road safety and congestion continue to present major issues for many Australian commuters, so action on this topic is also very important. u201cWe encourage federal, state and territory governments to allocate funding and resources for these critically important infrastructure projects.u201d Should a fast-charging network be a top priority for Australian infrastructure builders? Tell us what you think in the comments below.