Electric vehicle drivers will be able to cover the entire state safely and easily by the end of 2020.
There are now 90 charging points for electric cars within Tasmania, with additional stations added each month, Australian Electric Vehicle Association vice president Clive Attwater said.
“These are at cafes, motels, attractions and some local government parking sites, mostly for free, as well as caravan sites that permit EV owners to charge at unoccupied powered sites for a fee,” Mr Attwater said.
City of Launceston council installed the state’s first public 50 kilowatt fast charger in the Paterson Street East car park in October.
“Additional fast chargers are planned for deployment by a number of councils and investors,” he said.
“The initial fast chargers will be installed starting this year from Hobart to Burnie along Highway 1.”
Funding for additional fast chargers on the East and West coasts is expected to be announced soon, Mr Attwater said.
“These should mostly be in place by the end of 2020, all going to plan. At that time it will become practical, even easy, to travel to virtually any part of the state in the electric vehicles now being offered for sale,” he said.
One of those vehicles is the new all-electric Jaguar I-PACE sold at Buckby Jaguar in Launceston.
The Jaguar I-PACE has a 90 kilowatt hour Lithium-ion battery and travels up to 470 kilometres per charge, Buckby Motors sales manager Ian Fisher said.
“This is the first fully-electric car that Jaguar have done. There two electric motors that drive it – one at the front and one at the rear,” Mr Fisher said.
“They’re actually an all-wheel drive, so the electric motors can drive even if you have no traction on one side, the electric motors can drive with one at the front and one at the back. That’s pretty amazing.”
There are three I-PACE models – S, SE and HSE – and all have brake regeneration technology, which means they can put power back into the engine when you back off the accelerator.
“A lot of the time, if you’re driving around town and using the brakes, that’s actually regenerating power so you can go further, which is the opposite of what you’re average car would be out on the open road,” Mr Fisher said.
The batteries are under the floor of the car and the car accelerates instantly, rather than moving through gears.
“Having the batteries down so low gives a fantastic low centre of gravity, so for handling on the road it’s absolutely brilliant,” he said.
“There’s no gears like in an average car, so it’s very smooth all the way through with your power delivery.”
A map of Tasmania’s electric car charging stations is at plugshare.com, with a PlugShare app also available.
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