First electric car supercharger in WA sparks into life near Bunbury

For most West Aussies, packing up the family into the fuel-guzzling station wagon and heading "down south" for a quick getaway is a rite of passage.

Now, holiday-goers can ditch the gas-guzzler and make the trek in a more environmentally conscious vehicle, with electric car maker Tesla opening its first supercharge station in WA at Eaton Shopping centre, just north of Bunbury.

The superchargers are more powerful than any existing technology going around and it only takes 30 minutes to power up the car, which gives the driver a range of 270 kilometres.

Bagging a Tesla isn't cheap with the model S and X rolling off the showroom for a cool $120,000.

But the company is working to build the model 3 sedan which is expected to go for around $50,000 when it goes on sale in Australia in 2018.

Tesla owner's club spokesman Rob Dean said the Eaton supercharge station was the perfect stopover point for electric car owners wanting to explore the South West.

"Most Tesla owners live in the Perth metro area, so this provides the perfect opportunity to stop for 20 minutes, purchase some refreshments and fast charge vehicles," he said.

"For many Tesla owners Eaton's 24-hour shopping centre will be the gateway to a South West holiday or business trip."

Geologist Frank Lister, who was the person in WA to own a Tesla four years, was the first in line to supercharge his car.

"My intent was to support Tesla and the emerging electric car market by drawing attention to the fact that I really can drive between Balingup and Perth carbon free," he said.

Over 70 electric vehicle standard charge points will be installed in rural and remote towns around WA over the course of the next few months and will see three-phase sockets installed in towns and roadhouses on major roads in the state.

Mr Dean said after a recent trip up north in a electric car he said there was a significant lack of specialised EV power points available to remote travellers.

But a new deal between Synergy and the Australian Electric Vehicle Association is set be a game-changer for electric travellers here in WA.

Over 70 electric vehicle charge points will be installed in rural and remote towns around WA over the course of the next few months thanks to the initiative, and will see three-phase sockets installed in towns and roadhouses on major roads in the state.

A spokesman for the AECA said WA could no longer "wait around" for rural electric vehicle charge points.

"The West Australian branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) have teamed up with WA's biggest electricity retailer, Synergy, to deliver electric vehicle charging points to rural and remote towns in an effort to better connect electric travellers," he said.

According to the AEVA, the initiative is designed to help better connect electric travellers throughout WA, and hopefully eliminate the stress of finding a power point in rural areas.

A source told WAtoday Synergy would fund the initiative and the group hopes to have around "90 per cent of outlets installed by September".???

Synergy commercial general manager Geoff Roberts said the business would continue to expand its role in the electric vehicle market.

"Synergy has formed strong partnerships with industry groups like AEVA and the Electric Vehicle Council of Australia to understand what the future is likely to look like and to examine ways in which the business can play a leading role in enabling the take up of electric vehicles," he said.

A number of shires and small businesses have come on board with the program, and Williams Woolshed owners Ryan Duff and Simon Maylor recently installed three EV charge points at the popular Albany Highway business.

"It's been really positive for the business," Mr Duff said.

"Drivers will usually stop for 45 minutes or more so the car can charge while you have lunch and relax."

With Hannah Barry

This story First electric car supercharger in WA sparks into life near Bunbury first appeared on WA Today.