Canberra to host first electric car infrastructure

By Staff Writer

Canberra has been chosen as the host of Australia’s first electric vehicle infrastructure with a network to be completed within four years. 

Better Place Australia, the leading electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and services provider announced that Canberra will host the first city-wide roll-out of electric vehicle infrastructure in Australia.

Better Place founder and chief executive officer, Shai Agassi said there was proven demand for electric vehicles.

“Canberra is a great city to start deploying our vision of zero-emissions mobility," he said.

“Canberra has a mobile population that demands a viable alternative to allow for both short commutes and longer trips.

“There’s proven demand for EVs in Australia and the people of Canberra are ready for a more sustainable future.”

The initial roll out will involve an investment by Better Place, which will go towards building the infrastructure, services and systems to support the first several hundred electric vehicles in Canberra.
The investment will cover safe and completely recyclable lithium-ion batteries that will power the electric vehicles and be provided as part of the service to drivers; charge spots in homes, offices and shopping centres and ‘Battery Swap Stations’ where motorists can simply drive in and have a depleted battery automatically exchanged.

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has welcomed the announcement.

“While Canberra’s reputation as a city built for motor vehicles has created many challenges over the years, in this case we are well-placed to support this exciting new technology which will use renewable energy to power electric vehicles on Canberra’s roads,” Stanhope said.

“I understand Better Place and ActewAGL have held a number of discussions regarding energy supply and I look forward to these being progressed.

“There is also important work to be done identifying locations for battery-swap stations across the city.”

He said the ACT Government remained committed to leading the nation on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and was “well placed to attract both new investment and new green jobs to Canberra”.

He said the Better Place electric vehicle project complemented the government’s proposed large-scale solar plant.

“These zero-emission cars will run on renewable energy only, so it’s important there will be a local source of clean, green energy for local subscribers.”

The ACT Greens have also backed the scheme. Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan says it is a positive step, but only part of the solution.

“This is one thing we can do, but obviously public transport is that other major thing we have to do because not everybody is going to be able to afford to purchase electric cars,” she said.

“We need to actually be putting in infrastructure that addresses the larger part of the population and also people on lower incomes.”

The company will start building the network in two years and expects cars to come online in 2012.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required