While Australia is one of the most sparsely populated places on earth with a huge landmass, much of the country’s overland transportation takes place on road, with many people driving long distances between towns and cities. Although currently there are only around 7,300 EVs in Australia in comparison to over 17 million registered ICE vehicles, an emerging EV market is starting to take hold. As such, there is a growing focus on building a robust charging infrastructure. A recent report released by the Australian Senate has identified electric vehicle charging infrastructure as a priority for the growth and development of the EV industry.
Recent research shows that Australians are enthusiastic to see their government make it easier for people to adopt EVs. Nearly 4 out of 5 people want the government to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations across the country while 3 out of 4 people want the government fleets to go electric. More than half of those polled, expect the government to offer loans for purchase of EVs while nearly three-fourths of them want EV chargers in the parking lots of all new apartment blocks. Nearly 3 out of 4 people would like to see their government offer incentives for the setting up of EV charging infrastructure. The Australian market is ready to adopt EVs and now it is for the government to create the right conditions for that.
Australia is in the top three countries in the acceptance of cashless payments. As a method of payment, it makes sense for EV charging station operators across Australia to install universal chargers that allow EV drivers to charge their vehicles with their most commonly used payment method. However, many charging companies use memberships or subscriptions to enable the use of their electric vehicle charging stations. Considering the long distances between the towns and cities in Australia, highway charging station owners must ensure that EV drivers are able to easily and conveniently use their stations. The alternative to insisting that EV owners have multiple memberships, is to enable cashless payments in all different modes, like credit and debit cards, mobile wallets or QR codes among others. That will go a long way in making the process seamless for the users and increase their confidence in the charging infrastructure.
The report on the development of the EV industry in Australia by the Select Committee of the Australian Senate has rightly identified the need to speed up the process of bringing in more EVs into the country. These are early days for the EV industry in Australia and government support for developing proper policies and EV charging infrastructure will prove valuable for the industry in the future. The eagerness of the people to adopt EVs as shown by the study mentioned earlier, will make it easier for the government to implement a more robust EV policy.