The Australian Electric Vehicle Association

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The Electric Highway for Victoria

Proposed Plan for the Electric Highway for the State of Victoria on selected routes.


The electrification of personal transport is inevitable.

To accommodate this Victoria needs a state wide network of re-charging points for electric cars.

Properly implemented, this will provide additional economic and commercial benefit, particularly for country based residents who otherwise may be disadvantaged.

A basic network for 26 locations will service major routes and could be installed for $1.2 Million.

A Network covering the majority of major towns requires 50 locations at a cost less than $4 million


The electrification of personal transport is inevitable, for many reasons. Including fuel security and balance of payments and environmental benefits.  Adding the need to curb pollution in major cities results in forecasts that the majority of new cars sold in 2025 will be electric.

With current technology, the range of available electric cars is limited, for the vast majority of trips nationwide, which are inside major cities, this is not a problem. However this limits the utility of the vehicles for city owners and disadvantages country based owners who typically drive longer distances more often.

Providing a network of re-charging stations would encourage EV uptake especially the proportion of country based buyers and allow them the benefit of cheaper, environmentally friendly transport. Not building them means city drivers are less likely to take country trips. If these stations are built in optimised locations, there will be additional commercial benefits, business opportunities and transport synergies.  Anywhere that cars are parked for 15 minutes or longer is a candidate site for re-charging infrastructure. Rail stations, shopping precincts, rest stops, Hotels and tourist attractions.

Assuming re-charging every 100Km and placement of DC re-charging stations accordingly, the  major traffic and holiday routes in Victoria could be accommodated by as few as 26 installations initially. This would cover most major routes in the state for an equipment cost of one million dollars, and installation costs of less than two hundred thousand dollars.

This small amount of installations would greatly increase the utility of Electric cars owned by residents of Melbourne, and the nearest country population centres. It will also benefit owners of Plug-in Hybrids who can save on fuel by increasing the all- electric range of their cars on longer trips.




  1. The Majority of electric cars will be based in the Capital city of Melbourne.
  2. Owners will not normally use their EVs for trips greater than 400Km except for interstate travel.
  3. The majority of country based EVs would be based in major centres/ towns.
  4. The owners in the country would mainly travel to or between centres or to Melbourne.

The reason for the 400Km restriction is:

Due to recharging stops, the utility of vehicle use decreases with distance. Over 400 Km the majority of a day would be taken in travelling or re-charging. Therefore this network is designed mainly to increase the utility of these cars for Melbourne Based drivers. No attempt was made to cover areas of low population density in the initial plan, due to expected low utilisation levels.



Current Electric Car technology provides a range on full charge of up to 180km (usable range 120-160) Driving at highway speeds can reduce this by 10%, with heating or air-conditioning a potential extra 10%. Therefore EV drivers will need to plan longer trips carefully.  Newer models coming on the market may provide greater distances between re-charging, up to 240km with the bench mark set by the Tesla cars with 400km or more claimed. However there is a trade- off between the ‘normal use’ utility of the Vehicle and the higher cost of a larger capacity battery pack. For this analysis it is assumed the driver will recharge every 75 to 100 Km  during the trip.


Re-charging : Power recovery in one hour – usage 150 watt per kilometre (Nissan LEAF)


Outlet type




Range added


Level 1





15 km

Min / Common

Level 2





24 km

Mod / Upgrade

Level 3

ChP / 3 phase




51 km

Mod / Install

DC Fast ChP





150 km

High / Install

DC Fast ChP





300 km

High / Install


It should be noted that Level 3 charging at 32 amperes, although a practical possibility is not enabled on current production vehicles and not a standard recharging point option. A secondary consideration is that; if the ambient temperature is high, (abov38 degrees C) re-charging at a high rate, and with certainty use of fast DC can cause overheating which can permanently damage batteries unless active cooling and control is used.   Therefore this option cannot be used in very hot conditions. Level 2 Charging should be made available at all locations to avoid motorists being stranded.  Air-conditioned booths are an option.


As can be seen from the above table, the readily available 10 and 15 amp power options only add a limited number of kilometres in an hour. This makes them more suitable for round trips that do not greatly exceed the range of the vehicle, where a considerable amount of time is spent at the destination.

For example a day trip to Phillip Island from Dandenong.  (208 Km round trip.)

For this analysis it is assumed the driver will recharge every 75 to 100 Km during the trip.


Time Distance calculation. (Nissan LEAF at 90 KpH 150 km range  re-charge 25 km  to empty = 15%)

Distance KM

Time driving

Re-charge 15A

Fast DC 60 Amp

Total Trip 15A

Total Trip Fast DC


135 min

2 h =180 min

30 min

5 hours 15 min

2 hours 50 min


165 min

5h = 310 min

50 min

8 hours

3 hours 40 min


200 min

7h =440 min

70 min

10 hours 40 min

4 hours 30 min


235 min

9.4h = 560 min

90 min

13 hours 15 min

5 hours 25 min


270 min

11.5h =690 m

110 min

16 hours

6 hours 20 min

(With high output DC -100 Amp 400  Km trip time is reduced to 5 hours 30 Minutes)


Driving Melbourne to Sydney, a trip done by many, can take 10 hours, this indicates trips of up to 400 km by EV are feasible depending on the willingness of drivers to undertake them, and the availability of charging infrastructure.


The Routes:  Overview


The minimum number of recharging points are calculated at distances of 100 km or less, obviously this is not ideal, as individual trip distances will vary, also if stops are to be of an extended nature it would be better to site the re-charging stations in towns, at existing rest stops or at points of interest.

These are calculated out bound from Melbourne, although of course up to 5 charging locations will be needed around the outskirts of Melbourne for inbound traffic.


Route One:  Hume Hwy  to Wodonga , distance 304 Km                 locations 4

Route Two : Hamilton Hwy to SA,  distance 436 km                       locations  5

Route Three: Princes Hwy East to Genoa distance 508 Km             locations 5

Route Four: Calder Hwy to Bendigo distance 157 Km                      locations 2

Route Five : Great Ocean Rd to Apollo Bay distance 187 Km           locations 2

Route Six: Western Hwy via Ballarat to Horsham  269 Km               locations 3

Route Seven: Loddon/Murray Hwy Bendigo to Mildura 489 Km  locations 5

Total minimum requirement:  26 Locations.

A more usable and comprehensive network with sites in or near major towns and mostly at distances of 50-75 Kilometres would require up to 50 sites minimum.

Commercial Arrangements

For security reasons the charging stations should be located in places they can be monitored that are well frequented. To prevent vandalism in open locations a secure container with shutters should be specified.

This means an access key will be required by users. In any case to start the charge cycle an access method is needed. This requires users to join an organisation to get access and to pay charges associated with using the facility. Current practice is for the organisation to provide an RFID card which identifies the user. The organisation could be an Auto club like the RACV, a charging service provider or a utility company. The relationships between these organisations nationwide should be along the lines of mobile phone charges, so any user can use any location on the (road) network, but belong to and be charged by a single entity.



Level 2 (15amp) charging points are commercially available for around $2500, typically installation costs are up to $2,500 depending on cabling requirements. Locating the units on or next to an existing structure where power is available is recommended.

Fast DC chargers can be supplied for about $40,000 depending on specification. Installation costs are from $5,000, however as these units require access to a large amount of high voltage power. The proximity to the source of power and possibly the substation greatly affects the cost, and may be factor in site decisions.

It is expected rent would be paid for privately owned sites, but  local councils may decide to make sites available free of charge as a public service.

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