Steve drove his EV across the Nullabor without a hitch.

Electric vehicles charging ahead in Bassendean

Bassendean resident Steve Gill is putting EV vans to the test.
June 20, 2024
Mike Peeters

BASSENDEAN environmentalist Steve Gill has owned a Chinese-made electric vehicle (EV) BYD T3 for the past couple of years and is not surprised at the current revolution that is sweeping Australia.

Chinese-made and designed EVs have been in the news recently for their affordability and popularity, and for good reason as according to news reports they are currently outselling traditional EV rival Tesla.

“I have spent much of the past few years trying to draw people’s attention to climate change, and the insidious effect that burning fossil fuels is having on the planet,” said Mr Gill.

He said he is more than happy with the reliability and comfort of the van since driving it over from Sydney two years ago.

“I drove it back to WA using only the roadside electric charging units to recharge the van, plus powered sites in caravan parks across the Nullarbor.

“The journey took me 12 days and while the van might get close to the 300km per charge around town, I didn’t get nearly that on a long trip,” he said.

Fortunately, with the electric chargers located at convenient intervals, Mr Gill had no trouble recharging the van as he drove across the continent and completed the trip as planned, with zero vehicle emissions.

Throughout 2023 he worked around Perth as a courier, proving that the little electric van was up to the task, albeit occasionally needing a top up over lunch on a busy day to make sure there was enough range to get all the deliveries done.

“I love that Australian National Couriers (ANC) in Redcliffe gave me the chance to do the work and at the same time help reduce their carbon footprint - they understand the need to decarbonise and are making good progress on that front.”

Earlier this year, Mr Gill enjoyed a successful trip down south, charging his EV at the new EV charger in Bunbury, before heading to Nannup where he charged the van to 100 percent overnight from the caravan park’s electric powered site.

He is planning a trip from Perth to northeast NSW later this year and expects it to be considerably quicker than his first interstate trip, thanks to the continued development of new fast charging options between Perth and Adelaide.

He added that if he could do anything to help speed up the transition away from the fossil fuels causing global warming, he would do so.

“I have grandkids and understand what greenhouse gases are doing to the climate, and the oceans, and how that’s changing their prospects in a warming world.”

Climate Action and Energy Minister Reece Whitby said it was thrilling to see so many locations throughout the state join the WAEV Network.

“The Cook Government is serious about electrifying and decarbonising transport in Western Australia, which is why we’ve invested $44.5 million in this project,” he said.

“As the network expands, tourists and visitors will be able to travel up and down our state’s coast knowing they can charge their EVs at regular intervals.

“Not only does this make WA more accessible, it serves an important role in ensuring we are prepared for the energy transition.

“With the WAEV Network now nearing completion, we are another step closer to WA’s clean energy future.”

This ambitious WA State Government project is being delivered by Synergy and Horizon Power with support from local government authorities and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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