Disclaimer: Data on this website is the latest available from the named sources in this article and was obtained in October 2020. Auto & General Services Pty Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the data and accepts no liability whatsoever arising from or connected in any way to the use or reliance upon this data.
While the sale of electric vehicles and the installation of chargers have both certainly been on the rise in Australia over the last couple of years, electric cars still only make up 0.6% of new vehicle sales in the country, lagging well behind many other developed nations.
One of the reasons that the adoption of EVs has been so low in Australia is a lack of a reliable charging network.
Again, the number of chargers is definitely on the up across the country, with a 40% increase in the total number of chargers in the last twelve months, but just how many public charging points are there for every EV on the roads?
We’ve looked at the number of AC (standard charging units) and DC (rapid charging units) stations as well as the number of registered electric vehicles in each state and territory to find out.
The states & territories with the fewest chargers per EV
The Australian Capital Territory is one of the country’s EV hotspots, with electric cars making up 83 of every 10,000 vehicle sales (more than anywhere else in the country), but unfortunately, it’s also the territory with the lowest ratio of charging stations, with 0.1 per EV (or one charger for every ten electric vehicles).
This was followed by South Australia, which also has a higher concentration of electric vehicles, but a less impressive charging infrastructure, with just 0.13 chargers per EV (the same as Victoria).
While the Northern Territory was the area with the highest ratio of chargers, this is somewhat skewed by the fact that the territory has a very low number of electric vehicles overall (just 30 in the whole territory!).
Australia’s best road trips by EV
So just how easy is it to traverse Australia by EV? To find out, we attempted to plot routes for some of the country’s most iconic road trips, taking into account the availability of charging points along the way.
Out of 15 trips, just nine would actually be doable in a car with a range of 480km. While it’s not entirely surprising that cross-country routes such as the Big Lap and the Explorer’s Way wouldn’t be possible, even some shorter routes, such as the Gibb River Road or Cairns to Cape York, unfortunately, don’t have the charging infrastructure in place to make a journey possible.
The longest road trip we found that could be completed by EV was across the Nullarbor Plain, running from the goldfields of Western Australia to the Eyre Peninsula. Although there are just eight chargers along the route, thankfully they’re just spaced out evenly enough to make this trip possible.
While some of the routes do have a fairly decent number of chargers along the route (such as Cairns to Cape York), unfortunately, they wouldn’t be able to be completed due to the chargers all being clustered around one built up area (in this case Cairns), and aren’t spaced out enough to allow the journey to be completed.
Number of chargers in each state/territory sourced from the Electric Vehicle Council’s State of Electric Vehicles 2020 report and refers to the number of AC and DC charging stations in each.
Number of electric vehicles in each state/territory sourced from the National Transport Commission’s Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity for New Australian Light Vehicles 2019 report and refers to the number of registered electric vehicles as at 18 December 2019.
To estimate whether some of Australia’s best road trips would be possible by electric vehicle or not, we used PlugShare, plotting a route based on a car with a range of 480km (the estimated average range of an EV) and looking for charging points which were no more than a 3.2km detour from the route.
We looked at 15 of the best and most iconic road trips in Australia as recommended by: