MELBOURNE, Jan. 22 -- Western Australia is hoping to win the race to build Australia's first electric car network with a plan to build a series of charging stations throughout the South West.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported late Wednesday that seven councils in the South West region have agreed to support the network funded by the Royal Automotive Club of Western Australia (RAC WA).
The lack of charging stations, let alone competent ones, has limited uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia.
The only fast charge station in the West is at a university campus in Perth and therefore EVs have been restricted to the city limits.
The new facilities would include 50-kilowatt stations at towns between Perth and Augusta that will charge the average EV in 30 minutes.
Stephen Moir of WA's Motor Trade Association said the RAC WA proposal was a game-changer
"For the first time in Australia, you're actually going to be able to take a trip into regional areas," he told the ABC.
"It overcomes one of the biggest obstacles to owning an electric vehicle, which is 'range anxiety'."
"I think it would be great if Western Australia could lead the nation and build the first electric highway."
It may be in competition with the eastern states with a network from Melbourne to Sydney via Canberra planned by electric vehicle manufacturer Telsa.
Will Golsby, RAC WA spokesperson, said while the RAC would purchase and install the stations, they would be owned and maintained by the councils.
"The RAC is really driving this concept, we want to bring it to life," Golsby told the ABC.
"Around 110 years ago, the RAC was formed by members who wanted to open up the state to motorists.
"We believe this is part of the future by opening up the roads to electric vehicles."