Hundreds of Vic tradies to upskill on EV

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Hundreds of Victorian tradies will be trained on how to install electric vehicle charging stations as part of a new pilot program.

State Training and Skills Minister Gayle Tierney announced $950,000 to back the upskilling initiative for 500 licensed electricians on Saturday.

Along with knowing how to install the charging stations, the electricians will be able to maintain and fix them.

"It's about making sure that current electricians are qualified to work on new technologies that are available," Ms Tierney said.

Electrical Trades Union Victorian branch secretary Troy Gray said the chargers had a high amperage of up to 60, which could be lethal if they were not correctly installed.

"(Today is the) grounding work in putting a development course together to ensure electricians are trained up to the highest level to install these chargers," he said.

The Andrews government plans to install 116 electric vehicle charging stations around the state by July next year. This means drivers in any town will only be an hour away from a fast charger, authorities say.

The upskilling program is expected to start in 2023 and will be free for the 500 licensed electricians. It will be led by the Electrical Trades Union and administered through Melbourne training providers The Centre for U and Holmesglen TAFE.

In NSW, the final piece of a network of fast chargers along the Barrier Highway was switched on earlier this month, allowing electric vehicle drivers to travel from Sydney to the state's outback.

"It means drivers travel no more than 300km to recharge their vehicles when making the 1000km journey between Sydney and Broken Hill," NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole said.

"And once we roll out our network by 2023, most EV drivers will be no more than 150 kilometres from an EV charging station, allowing people to travel to Broken Hill, Moree and Bourke, and to link up with major routes in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia."

Fast chargers can charge a vehicle in 30 minutes.

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