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RAA to build first EV charging network


The RAA, an Australian motoring organisation, has been awarded a $12.4 million grant from the South Australian government to construct and operate Australia’s first state-wide rapid electric vehicle charging network. 

Australia’s first state-wide network will comprise 536 fast and rapid charging points across 140 electric vehicle charging sites in 52 rural, regional and metropolitan service locations. 

The new network will be a key component in South Australia’s electric vehicle transformation and is part of the state’s $53 million Electric Vehicle Action Plan. 

“This plan will make electric vehicles the first choice for someone buying a new car by 2030 with the environmental and economic benefits that brings to South Australia,” SA premier Steven Marshall said. 

“EVs will be able to travel from Bordertown to Border Village and everywhere in between with the benefits of this state-wide rapid charging network. The RAA’s position of trust in the South Australia community made the motoring organisation the natural choice to operate the state-wide charging network.” 

As part of the Electric Vehicle Action Plan, the South Australian government is also offering 7,000 motorists a $3,000 subsidy and three-year registration holiday when they buy a new EV. Another $2,000 is available to 7,500 households with new or existing plug-in EVs that invest in smart charging solutions in their homes. 

“Electric vehicles offer more benefits than just getting from A to B, they will also significantly contribute to the stability and efficiency of our electricity system, further reducing the cost of power for all South Australians,” deputy premier Dan van Holst Pellekaan said. 

“Our state’s abundant wind and solar resources will be harnessed to power a reliable network of charging stations that will accelerate EV uptake and help achieve our target of net-100 per cent renewables by 2030. 

“More than 140 site hosts are expected to take advantage of this opportunity, helping South Australia continue its leadership in EV uptake, and our transition to renewable energy.” 

The RAA president and chairman of the Board, Peter Siebels, said his organisation is ideally placed to deliver South Australia’s EV charging network. 

“As a motoring organisation representing over 780,000 members, this is a defining moment for our organisation and for our members,” Siebels said. 

“Over 120 years ago, the RAA enabled South Australians to progress from horses to automobiles, with fuel drops to regional hotels and other outlets. Today history repeats, as the RAA steps forward to lead the charge to zero emissions electric transport by 2050.” 

A number of businesses and organisations, including SA Power Networks, Telstra, Flinders University and the Cities of Adelaide, Port Adelaide Enfield, Marion and Holdfast Bay have committed to South Australia’s Electric Vehicle Fleet Pledge. 

SA Power Networks CEO Rob Stobbe said they are already realising the benefits of electrification, with five fully electric vehicles recently added to their fleet. 

“As fleet operators we are always looking for ways to reduce our fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions,” Stobbe said. “The Fleet Pledge provides a clear mandate from executive leadership to fleet managers, empowering them to achieve both of these business objectives.” 

Construction of the state-wide EV charging network is expected to commence in mid-2022. 

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