If you own an electric car and live in Western Australia, travelling from town to town just got a lot easier. Teslas, Nissan’s Leaf and other electric vehicles will be able to use the RAC’s new Electric Highway network, free, until the end of the year.
Eleven fast charging stations in total will connect Perth to Bridgetown and Augusta in Western Australia’s southwest; the infrastructure is being bought and built by the RAC but maintenance will be in the hands of local governments and the RAC’s E-Station contractor. Four chargers on the electric highway are already up and running, in Mandurah, Bunbury, Busselton and Margaret River, and seven more are planned for Augusta, Nannup, Bridgetown, Perth, Donnybrook, Dunsborough, Fremantle and Harvey.
E-Station is supplying the charging hardware to the installations, so each charge point will have three separate systems for users to charge cars with different standards — think Lightning cables versus microUSB. CHAdeMO fast charging, CCS Combo 1 fast charging and the Mennekes AC Mode3 Type 2 connector will all be available, and both DC fast and AC slow charging are available. 120 amps and 50-500VDC for 50kW output power on the DC circuit, and 63 amps at 400VAC for 43kW on the AC circuit will be used.
That should mean an 80 per cent charge from near flat for a Nissan Leaf in half an hour, and an hour’s charge should mean another 220km of range on a Tesla Model S. More than enough to get to the next town or to the next charging station on a longer trip.