Infrastructure Australia has, for the first time, identified the construction of a national electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging network as a High Priority Initiative for Australia, highlighting the impetus for urgent government action.
The new '2019 Infrastructure Priority List,' published by the independent statutory body, nominates "a network of fast-charging stations on the national highway network to provide national connectivity" as one of 29 High Priority Initiatives for Australia.
Electric Vehicle Council chief executive Behyad Jafari said Australia lagged comparable nations in terms of electric vehicle infrastructure and there was an urgent need to act.
"Infrastructure Australia is the objective authority on what the nation needs to start building. If their experts recognise a national fast-charging network as a high priority, then governments should heed the call," Mr Jafari said.
"The key factor holding back the mass uptake on electric vehicles in Australia is consumer uncertainty about charging infrastructure.
"As Infrastructure Australia correctly points out, the price of EVs is dropping and range is rising. But our leaders are pumping the brakes by not adequately supporting new charging infrastructure.
"Australians can and should be able to drive all over this massive nation with complete confidence in a zero-emission vehicle. The technology exists. We just need the political will to make it happen.
"The advantages of a mass transition to electric vehicles are manifest. Carbon emissions would fall, pollution in our cities would be phased out, our insecure dependence on foreign oil could be eradicated.
"But if we are to seize this exciting potential we need governments to show the public that EVs are supported.
"A century ago, when the potential of the automobile was recognised, previous generations spent a fortune creating infrastructure to support it. The transition to EVs requires just a small fraction of that boldness and vision.
"With Infrastructure Australia's imprimatur now in black and white, we need to just get on and make it happen."