Electric vehicles will now be able to make the drive from Sydney all the way to Broken Hill, after the final piece of the network of fast chargers along the Barrier Highway was switched on.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the chargers at Wilcannia and Cobar formed part of the 20 sites rolling out across the regions under a $3 million partnership between the NSW Government and the NRMA to deliver the country’s biggest network of EV charging stations.
“Now that we’ve rolled out the final chargers along the Barrier Highway, located at Wilcannnia, Cobar, Dubbo, Parkes, Orange and Lithgow, it means drivers travel no more than 300 kilometres to recharge their vehicles when making the 1000-kilometre journey between Sydney and Broken Hill,” Mr Toole said.
“These charging stations are transforming the way EV drivers move around, helping to support tourism in regional centres along the Barrier, New England, Sturt, Hume, Newell and Kamilaroi highways.
“And once we roll out our network by 2023, most EV drivers will be no more than 150 kilometres from an EV charging station, allowing people to travel to Broken Hill, Moree and Bourke, and to link up with major routes in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.”
Treasurer and Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the Barrier Highway network completion would open up opportunities for EV drivers to visit regional NSW.
“Rolling out chargers across NSW will ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of electric vehicles,” Mr Kean said.
“Under the State’s EV strategy, the NSW Government is co-investing a further $171 million in charging infrastructure so drivers can be confident they can drive their EVs whenever and wherever they want to.”
Minister for Regional Transport Sam Farraway said completing the charging network across the more than 1150-kilometre journey is an important milestone for regional NSW.
“The completion of this route will help cater for the increasing take-up of electric vehicles across the state and the NSW Government will continue to roll out the necessary infrastructure for their take-up,” Mr Farraway said.
“Not only is this a win for EV drivers across the Barrier Highway, but it will also open up the region to more tourists and more travel.
“These fast chargers can charge a vehicle in 30 minutes and are located in the heart of each town to allow visitors to get out and explore, spending money in local shops and picking up a coffee or meal that will support the local economy.
“The charger at Wilcannia will have symbolic meaning for the area, with the units decorated with artwork painted by Indigenous artist Eddy Harris, who was born and raised in Wilcannia, to represent the river and fish that are so important to the region.”
Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders says the fast chargers are a game changer which will make the regions more accessible to all.
“The charging network will bring more motor traffic and therefore more visitors to our amazing regional communities”, Mr Saunders said.
“Increasing the range of the EV network is great way technology is opening up the bush to the city to really put these towns on the map.”
NRMA Head of Electric Vehicle Charging & Partnerships Suzana Barbir said the unveiling of the Wilcannia and Cobar chargers would open up the region to visitors and give more choice to local residents looking to make the switch to electric vehicles.
“Electric Vehicles are the future of motoring in Australia and the NRMA is committed to making the transition to electric vehicles smooth and beneficial for our members and all Australian motorists.
Cobar Shire Council Mayor Peter Abbott said it was exciting to be turning on the final charger along the Barrier Highway.
“The charging station in Cobar will ensure that electric vehicles can be catered for as they visit Cobar and our outback,” Mr Abbott said.
Transport for NSW and the NRMA are providing chargers for other routes that will connect NSW with Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
To find out more about Electric Vehicles, including charging locations, visit: https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/electric-vehicles