CANBERRA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government will invest 15 million Australian dollars (10.08 million U.S. dollars) in a network of fast-charging stations for electric vehicles.
Angus Taylor, the Minister for Energy, announced on Monday that the funding will be given to Evie Networks, a fast-charging start-up, from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (AREA).
It will support the first phase of Evie's planned 50 million AUD (33.6 million USD) network of 42 ultra-fast vehicle chargers on freeways between Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane.
The chargers will be capable of adding 100 km of range to an electric vehicle (EV) within 15 minutes.
Taylor told Nine Entertainment newspapers that the investment was evidence that the government was "taking practical action to address barriers to EV uptake, so that Australians who choose to adopt new technologies are supported in doing so."
In addition to major freeways, "destination charging" will also be installed In Far North Queensland, Perth and Tasmania.
Taylor said that the "many barriers currently facing EV uptake including Australian geography, population areas, highways and range" were considered in choosing the locations.
Chris Mills, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Evie, said that Australia needs approximately 350 charging sites to cover its highways.
"While many consumers will charge at home, they will also need plenty of fast chargers in towns, suburbs and cities. There are currently around 6,500 petrol stations. This is just the beginning of the infrastructure build out."
The Opposition Australian Labor Party promised that half of all new vehicles sold in Australia would be electric by 2030 if it won the general election in May.
The Liberal National Party Coalition, which won the election, described the policy as unrealistic and expensive.