Regional towns power up for EV road trips

Electric car drivers will be able to "fill up" along more Australian highways after another five vehicle charging stations opened in regional areas.

The fast-charging equipment, installed along the Mitchell, Kamilaroi and Bruxner Highways and officially opened on Friday, are part of a $3 million program being rolled out by the NSW government in partnership with NRMA.

The infrastructure will add to 3669 public chargers across Australia, according to the EV Council's latest report, and 274 existing fast-charging locations.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the program to fund 20 charging sites had already helped EV drivers cover a staggering distance in regional areas.

"The fast-charging network has enabled NSW drivers to travel more than 13 million kilometres, powered by green energy," he said.

"That represents thousands of trips to our regions that are boosting tourism and supporting jobs and businesses across the state."

New locations for electric vehicle chargers included Casino, Temora, Bourke, Brewarrina and Nyngan, adding to 11 already installed under the program.

NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Sam Farraway said the chargers could add an extra 150km range to an electric car in 30 minutes and were situated in areas where drivers could rest or see regional centres.

"These fast chargers... are located at the heart of each town where people can get out and enjoy a coffee, meal or look in a local shop while their vehicle charges," he said.

"Speaking to local cafe owners in Cobar, they have noticed an uptick in the number of visitors taking the time to come in, have a coffee and a toasted sandwich and explore the town a bit more while their cars charge."

NRMA electric vehicle charging and partnerships head Suzana Barbir said it was vital that Australia increased the number of charging stations along highways to encourage tourism and make "the transition to electric vehicles smooth".

"Range anxiety is one of the biggest considerations for people when it comes to purchasing an EV," she said.

The announcement came just weeks after NRMA energy and infrastructure chief executive Carly Irving-Dolan told the All-Energy Conference that Australia did not yet have enough electric vehicle chargers that drivers could "just go free" and drive, rather than carefully planning their route.

"We're not quite there yet and that's why we want to put a backbone (of chargers) in," she said.

It also comes after NSW revealed plans to add 500 electric vehicle charging bays over the next two years in a $39.4 million commitment.

The state currently has the largest number of EV chargers, followed by Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

The Northern Territory, with just 23 car chargers, offers the least amount of charging infrastructure, according to the EV Council.

Many modern electric vehicles are capable of travelling more than 400km on a fully charged battery, though local, state and federal governments are under pressure to fund more public chargers to accommodate travel and drivers without access to off-street parking.