Warning to electric vehicle owners ahead of Easter after chaotic scenes

Electric vehicle owners have faced unfortunate waits in the past, but are drivers of Teslas and other EVs becoming better behaved?

Electric vehicle drivers are being urged to plan ahead this Easter as the country witnessed chaotic scenes a year ago.

The rollout of Australia's electric vehicle charging infrastructure has faced intense scrutiny in recent years, and while those in the industry say the country is better prepared for an influx in drivers on the roads next week, motorists should take some simple steps to minimise chaos.

Bernhard Conoplia, Head of Public Charging at Evie, which has over 200 charging sites in Australia, said like Christmas, the Easter long weekend is "definitely the peak period".

"We see two to four times the utilisation versus a normal weekend," he told Yahoo News Australia.

Electric vehicle drivers 'becoming more considerate'

During 2023's Easter period, one image of a row of Teslas waiting to charge gained considerable attention, with suggestions Australia's rollout of charging stations just cannot keep up with demand.

That's a claim Conoplia disagrees with, saying Evie's rollout is "at pace". He said it is unlikely any large queues will form this year, with drivers also becoming more considerate and educated about electric vehicles (EVs).

A row of Teslas at an EV charging station.
While there could be queues next weekend, Australia is becoming better at minimising delays for electric vehicles, Evie says. Source: X / Matthew Bailes

"At Christmas just passed, the queuing wasn't as bad as people expected and I think there's a combination of things going on there. There's more charging infrastructure.. and drivers are becoming more experienced and aware and are planning their journeys," he said.

"They're showing great etiquette, EV drivers are a considerate group in general and if they see someone waiting they'll move on and let the next person charge."

Conoplia said his advice for the Easter weekend was for families to leave home with a full battery and to plan their journeys and make sure they're integrating charging as part of their journey. Evie's app also allows EV drivers to check the availability at each station.

An Evie charging station in Melbourne. Source: Evie
An Evie charging station in Melbourne. Source: Evie

Australia 'at the very start' of its electric vehicle journey

EV owner and host of Two Blokes Talking Electric Cars, Trevor Long, said he'd like to see independent charging companies like Evie growing quicker than they are, previously telling Yahoo the huge investment needed was a significant roadblock.

Conoplia says Evie is committed to continue expanding at speed to meet demand, and the company was encouraged by the increased usage at its stations.

"We're at the very start of this journey. We've got just under 200,000 EVs on the road and that's less than one per cent of the Australian vehicle fleet. so while we're approaching 10 per cent of new car sales [being EVs], it takes a long time for the fleet to be refreshed.

"It's an exciting time and we're all aware of the need to keep on rolling out infrastructure at pace."

Long said one major problem facing EV drivers was locating stations, particularly in remote areas, which were out of order. Two budding entrepreneurs in Melbourne are looking to help fix that problem, offering a charging service where they come to you. Daniel Henry, 24, and his business partner, Toby Batters-Holding, said they have been inundated with requests since launching their business last month.

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