Another small step, or maybe one giant leap, for the electric Big Lap dream?

Published: November 7, 2023

While many grey nomads remain highly sceptical that travelling the Outback in an electric vehicle (EV) will ever be a practical option, government is continuing to put a priority on rolling out charging infrastructure in regional areas.

In the latest push in New South Wales, the state government has vowed to deliver more EV chargers through its Destination Charging Program.

The $10 million allocated for round two of the initiative is expected to support the installation at least 1,500 EV charge ports at tourism destinations.

Applications are now open for small to medium regional tourism businesses and councils to install EV charging infrastructure. Successful applicants will receive 75% of the cost of purchasing and installing up to four charge points at each site.

Destinations could include motels, wineries, cafes, restaurants, natural attractions, visitor information centres, museums, zoos and local government facilities.

Following the successful rollout of the chargers, a series of EV tourist drives will be developed to promote EV travel across NSW.

The NSW Minister for Energy, Penny Sharpe, said it was a very important program.

“Providing EV charging plugs at regional destinations across our state will help make ‘range anxiety’ a concern of the past and give more drivers to confidence to make EV purchases,” she said. “More EVs on the roads is an important part of the decarbonisation of our transport system and essential to meeting our net zero by 2050 target.”

And the Minister for Regional NSW, Tara Moriarty, said ‘regional residents as well as tourists deserve to have the confidence to be able to purchase EVs knowing the required charging infrastructure is available to them locally’.

The NSW Government’s Destination Charging Program is part of its $209 million investment in charging infrastructure which also includes $10 million in grants to retrofit apartments with EV chargers, $10 million for more kerbside charging and $149 million for ultra-fast charging infrastructure.

  • Are you looking forward to jumping in your electric vehicle and towing your van out into the bush in the not-too-distant future? Or are you expecting to have to keep budgeting for Big Lap fuel stops for many years to come? Comment below.

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What’s another 10 mil.
Its not their money and they wont be responsible when it all falls down.
And it will.
There are plenty of idealists.
Unfortunately realists are supporting these dreamers.
What a waste to our small nation.

Earlier this year I stayed a few days at a caravan park in Tumut NSW where there was a 4 station EV recharging facility.

Not used once from my observation point not far away.

It’s really a big con..
The batteries are getting heavier. Takes a real lot of mining, mineral, and pollution to source the rare minerals.
Manufacturing of the batteries cause a lot of damaging pollution and toxic waste. If everyone converted to EV’s the manufacturing of batteries would NEVER keep up to demand.
The huge windmills in the windfarms use hundreds of litres of toxic oil in the monster gearbox that has to be regularly changed..
But the environment minister..Blackout Bowen wants us all to be conned into thinking all this is a good idea.

yep keep dreaming. Most road houses we filled in W.A with liquid gold took min 30 minutes to reach the bowser.

Now imagine if these places had 1 charger at the slow rate of 12 amps, how long would you be waiting for the EV in front of you to get going?

It’s a joke, its o.k maybe for the east coast, but in W.A forget it.Well not in my life time..

I’m unaware of any ev capable of towing even a mid sized caravan any distance but assuming we are taking about town hopping on the east coast and assuming caravaners have plenty of time to wait for a full charge then it might work.
perhaps locating them in caravan parks would be a good start but it’s going to take a lot of charge points if this is going to eventuate. What about the outback? Putting a fast charger in a remote locality (see NRMA) will require a substantial diesel generator to supplement a solar / battery set up. How is that saving the planet? Who’s going to wait in the line up in the hot sun? Turn on the AC perhaps?
Maybe new technology will eventually make this feasible but not yet. A bit more green washing by the pollies? Save the planet by sticking to your diesel.

Good news we are still moving ahead with getting rid of fossil fuelled vehicles and finally Governments State and Federal are seeing where our future lies. Australia imports nearly all of its petroleum from Singapore refineries. We have1-2months of fuel reserves a war in Middle East or Asia would stop our supply of petroleum products like petrol and diesel very quickly and the Australian economy would stop functioning.
The sooner we move most transport to electric power the safer Australia will be, already we are seeing cars quickly becoming electric and large electric trucks and buses have started to appear. The next step in electrification will be medium sized transport vehicles like commercial vans, utes, 4WDs & mini buses.
Us Grey Nomads will start to benefit soon within the next few years we will sit around an laugh at how much money we use to spend, $2 per litre on imported fuels while our tow vehicles and camper vans charge up overnight in Caravan Parks for a few dollars while we sleep. Alternatively we stop at fast DC chargers for 20min and pay 30-60c per kWh while having morning tea or eating lunch and get 300+km of locally Australian renewable produced electric fuel.
Change is coming much sooner than we think and it will be for the better, a cleaner more secure future for us all. EVs are here to stay and will be the normal road transport while our petrol and diesel vehicles will be too expensive to run except for a few wealthy antique enthusiasts.

Well said.


Currently the federal govt currently receives 0.44 cents for every litre you pump into your vehicle, do you honestly believe by introducing electric powered vehicles the govt are going to sit back and say oh well it was good while it lasted, definitely not they will HAVE to load up charging rates in order to recoup lost revenue.

Very well said and great to see some positive commentary on this subject. EVs are definitely the future and I cannot wait for a 4wd version to be available (and affordable) to tow my van. Great that Governments are finally showing foresight in rolling out charging infrastructure which will eventually encourage a faster uptake of EVs. And yes EV drivers will need to pay more for charging in the future to offset the fuel tax income that will be lost but will still be better off than having to fill up with fossil fuels.

At the moment our travel will continue in our diesel motorhome, but our other vehicle is a Hyundai Ioniq EV. It is the best car I have even owned in my >50 years on the road. I will never return to driving a ICE Car. I cannot imagine an affordable EV MH being available in my life on the road, but in my dreams, it is my first choice. Bring ‘em on.

You do realise in some country’s in Europe during high demand or low power generation electric vehicles are not allowed to be driven or charged unless for emergency situations
can see this summer here will make the government rethink heat related power restrictions EV use, you know the restrict AC and high power use for 2+ hours
other than that they have there place here, but not for saving the planet but making the air in major cities a little bit cleaner
Im just waiting for when the government to work out the tax system for the loss of the fuel tax levy
they do drive nice though

Which countries in Europe James?
Sounds like a myth especially when you drive an electric vehicle you are only using power stored in the EV nothing from the grid, so why limit driving?

You need not worry about tax we only need to tax the foreign owned mining companies and gas exporters who currently pay no tax on enormous profits and we all could forget about existing fuel taxes.

Sweden, Norway, Finland been that way for 12 months or so. Germany and France are looking into it.
theres a shortage of power as they are restarting as many nuclear power stations to gain independence again with Russia not supplying oil, gas and power
pretty common knowledge in the EV world, sorta like a fuel issues we had here in the 70s but this time it’s electricity

Find that very hard to believe, Norway is a major exporter of fossil gas and oil.

Nuclear power stations are usually difficult if not impossible to restart once decommissioned, normally they are put in idle and still cost a lot to keep running, once a nuclear power station is closed the costs of reopening are prohibitive. Often cheaper to find alternatives, nuclear generation of electricity is the most expensive way to make electricity and hence very few new reactors are now built. Those under construction around the world have tripled in cost and are years behind completion. Also no one has a solution for safe secure economic storage of nuclear waste.

Wind power and hydro is widely used in Northern Europe and there is really no. Electricity shortage in Scandinavia.

what a waste of money. maybe in the future when batteries are lighter and we have neuclear power stations for unlimited amount of power. Are you aware that a lot of regional EV stations installed hava diesel engine generater to generate the electricity for the so called clean electric car. crazy

Nuclear power is the most expensive and polluting way to produce electricity. It needs a large amount of water and produces toxic waste that lasts for 1000s of years. Please see my comment below about off grid DC charges

this is some information for electric vehicles and the power needed. Are you aware that the wind farm turbine blades cannot be recycled and they can only be used as land fill. are you aware that wind farms in the ocean suffer from the blade edges being eaten away by the salt and need constant maintenance. also 4 tons of copper is used in the turbine. in england where they have huge number of EV. more people are going back to petrol vehicles within two years because of the wait times for charging. insurances on some EV vehicles in the UK have doubled. there is no recycling for solar panels at there end of life.Some Outback EV stations are diesel powered to generate the electricity to charge the EV. how stupid. until we solve the power supply for EV vehicle they are a waste of time and money because they do not achieve the goal of cleanair and be good for the enciroment.

Most renewable electricity in Australia comes from solar both commercial and home. Wind generation is important, but supplemental to solar and battery South Australia is the leading state with renewables and other states will be catching up soon.
The newest DC charger on the Nullarbor is solar powered with battery back up and has a diesel generator which runs on used chip frying oil to provide peak power and power in extended rain periods. The connection to grid of most DC charges removes the need for a backup generator. Australia is big with solar, hydro, wind and battery our grid is rapidly moving to renewables.

For example we at home though connected to the grid have not has a power bill since 2018 and was recently paid $500 for our solar export electricity. This year 2023 we have imported 26kWh from the grid and exported 1792kWh while keeping our home & one EV running as we need it. We have 11.5kW of solar and 10kWh home battery and cannot wait for Vehicle to Grid (V2G) to appear and then we would have 50-100kWh battery from the EV and not need grid except to export our excess solar.

A long way to go before there is the infrastructure to support EVs towing.
The industry accepted rule is to take the published WLTP vehicle range (best case scenario), take 70% of that because you do not want to charge above 80% for battery life, plus 10% to allow you a safety margin for chargers unavailable or not working…..then halve it for towing and that will leave many EVs suitable for towing with a circa 100 – 150km range.
Battery tech is definitely getting better and so is infrastructure, but a long, long way to go for towing.

Most popular battery in many of the newest EVs is a LiFePO which is normally charged to 100% the 80% charging is for Li-ion batteries and is to extend their life. LiFePO batteries as in BYD and Tesla Model 3 RWD sold in Australia have a very long life and are charged to 100%.
I do agree towing will halve your range, so if you have 800-1000km range you have a towing range of 400-500km. My V8 Landcruiser has ~1100km range and about 500-600km range towing depending on conditions. I usually only tow ~300km per day and have no problems with range, it will be similar with PHEVs out next year and EVs in next couple of years.

Might be a little hard to fit in to a charging station with a caravan in tow.

Just park in your caravan park and AC charge overnight. Some van parks you stay hooked up others you unhook. It is not hard just different also DC chargers will soon have different sizes for larger vehicles like buses & trucks caravans will also fit.

In GB you generally park unhook the van then charge the van, unless you find a charger on the motorway charging stations that are drive through

We still burn coal to make the power a batters or non renewable an are a hazard. My main problem is that you can’t hear the motor so you don’t know what is happening, it won’t be long before people hit the accelerator when stop ,how many people are going to be out of work?

Take an EV for a drive and find out Renato. Have been driving EVs for 4 years the safest and most reliable cars I have ever driven. Our grid is rapidly becoming powered by renewables as they are the cheapest form of power generation, coal power stations are closing and gas is getting relegated to occasional peaking generation (because it is so expensive), things are changing rapidly.

Also EVs very cheap to run, as for jobs blacksmiths and farriers still get work and many mechanics can work on EVs they are cleaner and less toxic oil & fuel to deal with when working on them.

Last edited 20 days ago by Terry O’Leart

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