SA to fine drivers for blocking EV charging spots

Marked EV charging spotParking a petrol or diesel car in a space marked for electric-car charging is now illegal in South Australia, with wrongdoers set to get slapped with fines from this week.

The SA Government has become the latest authority to hit petrol and diesel-powered cars parking in spaces dedicated to electric vehicles, following bans being introduced across other states and territories in recent years.

From this week, drivers of petrol or diesel cars face on-the-spot fines of $75 for committing the offence.

It will also apply a penalty to electric cars which park in designated spaces for charging, without plugging in. Interestingly, committing this offence would earn owners a higher fine of $111.

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Tesla towing caravan completes Big Lap of Australia

Tesla towing caravanA couple from Western Australia has put to rest the idea that an EV “won’t tow ya trailer” after completing a big lap of the country in a Tesla Model 3 while towing a caravan.

Sarah White and Shane Parker have returned home to Perth after completing 17,251 kilometres over 40 days.

“It was a fantastic experience. I highly recommend anyone do it in any vehicle that they’ve got available to them,” White told TheDriven.

“To see the Great Barrier Reef, the gorges across the Northwest, the incredible scenery around Victoria River … it’s great to be out in those remote, regional areas of Australia.”

The car went through 3,845 kWh of power throughout the trip, and had an average consumption of 223 Wh/km. White and Parker also joined the ‘zero per cent club’ on a number of occasions, as the app they use (S3XY) gave them enough information to be able to know the exact number of usable kWh in the car batteries.

The Model 3 with caravan was able to do a maximum of 247 kilometres in one stretch, but they mostly aimed for around 200 kilometres in any one go.

Read the full story at TheDriven >>>

Video of diesel generator powering remote electric-car chargers goes viral

NRMA ChargerFootage of a diesel generator running electric-car chargers in the Australian Outback has sparked outrage, but there’s more to the story.

A video of the diesel generator running at an NRMA electric charging site in Erldunda in the Northern Territory was shared to Instagram on 27 October 2023, where it has since received 3.3 million views.

However, the motoring association behind the chargers insists it’s merely a “backup” solution for the remote solar-powered site.

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Developing EV charging hubs in outback Australia

Outback australiaFar away from big cities, people living in remote Australia can sometimes struggle with basic energy security, let alone installing a fast charger for an electric car.

But even simply getting this technology to them is a major challenge, according to the National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA).

The NRMA’s energy subsidiary and the federal government are jointly funding a $90 million rollout of 137 fast chargers in rural and regional Australia.

NRMA Energy’s chief executive Carly Irving-Dolan said it had been confronted with many barriers. “Fundamentally, the main barrier is the constraint on the grid,” she said. “You’ll have places with low power, or very little power, that could only power a few houses and a roadhouse. “In other parts, for example, where we’re going to be building [these chargers] there is actually no power there at all.”

Read more at the ABC >>>

Plans for EV network expansion between Broken Hill & Adelaide

Councillor with NRMA chargerWhile NSW’s electric vehicle network enables more than 1,000 kilometres of travel from Broken Hill to Sydney, the much shorter journey to Adelaide is a different story.

With no Barrier Highway infrastructure in place, electric vehicle users must take their chances and detour through the Clare Valley, 394km from Broken Hill.

While some models can cover up to 500km, others can only do up to 400km. (Or less!)

It has led Broken Hill councillor Darriea Turley to write to the South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas and the SA government for help.

“For some of the leaders in Adelaide they may not realise the amount of traffic that is on the road from Adelaide to Broken Hill and beyond,” Cr Turley said.

“Sometimes governments need reminders that we’re here, it’s a road used more than any other I would imagine in South Australia in a lot of ways.”

Meanwhile, there are plans to add a second charging station in Broken Hill due to public demand.

Read more at the ABC >>>

Revealed: Australia’s fossil car industry efforts to stop EVs

Fossil fuel cars in queueA report from InfluenceMap sheds new light on the efforts of Australia fossil car lobby – under the auspices of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) – to weaken Australia’s proposed vehicle emission standards and slow down the uptake of electric vehicles.

The new report, titled The FCAI and Australian Climate Policy draws on more than 500 pages of previously unseen documents from Freedom of Information requests, and reveals how the FCAI had confidential briefings to government officials and bureaucrats in their efforts to stop or weaken climate policy.

It also reveals how it worked with other fossil fuel lobby groups as part of its plan to dilute climate policy.

“This behind-the-scenes effort shows the automotive industry adopting a similar playbook to the oil industry to weaken climate rules aimed at promoting battery electric vehicles,” says InfluenceMap program manager Ben Youriev.

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Monster movers: BHP tests electric trucks

BHP trucksAustralia’s largest miner, BHP, is about to test run heavy-haul trucks with electric motors charged by renewable power in a bid to slash fossil fuel use that accounts for 40 per cent of its carbon emissions.

These huge ore trucks run 24 hours a day, burn vast reservoirs of diesel and are ubiquitous across Australia’s open-pit mines.

James Agar, BHP’s group procurement officer, is charged with cutting the company’s 40 per cent diesel emissions footprint. To do that, he needs to electrify its fleet of 650 heavy-haul trucks, weighing in at about 20 to 25 tonnes each, that currently run on polluting fossil fuels.

Read more at SMH >>>

Queensland introduces Australia’s largest EV subsidy

EV ChargingEligible motorists in Queensland can now apply for a $6000 rebate on the purchase of any new sub-$68,000 electric car – the most generous subsidy of any Australian state or territory.

The Queensland Government announced its electric-car subsidy has been doubled from $3000 to $6000, while the maximum dutiable value of an electric or hydrogen car also increased by $10,000 to $68,000 plus on-road costs.

The increased subsidy expands the number of zero-emissions cars which are eligible for the rebate from eight to 20 -now including the Tesla Model 3, Australia’s best-selling electric vehicle.

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