WA leading charge for Australian-first electric car network

Many fleet managers will understand the potential rewards for incorporating green cars into their work routines. Electric cars in particular are attractive for dramatically reducing fuel costs.

However, an obvious downside - and the reason plenty of fleets won't be making the cost-saving upgrade any time soon - is a lack of charging stations around the country.

No one wants to worry about leaving their drivers stranded, after all, and the risk of a car losing power while on the job will be enough to put most managers off completely.

In Western Australia, this concern is being put to bed; or it could be, if plans to create the largest network of recharging facilities in the country get underway.

The state is hoping to win the race for upgrading Australia's electric car facilities, with plans to build the first 'electric car highway' being funded by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC).

Seven councils have shown their support by agreeing to help develop a network of fast-charging stations in the South West region, the ABC has reported.

The plan is to create a network of 50-kilowatt stations between Augusta and Perth. State Highway 2 is the usual route for drivers between the two destinations, and the 316 kilometre stretch of road could be the subject of the forward-thinking development.

Stephen Moir, CEO of Western Australia's Motor Trade Association, said the ambitious infrastructure plan could ease the main worries of many fleet managers.

"It overcomes one of the biggest obstacles to owning an electric vehicle, which is 'range anxiety'," he said in the ABC report.

"For the first time in Australia, you're actually going to be able to take a trip into regional areas."

The upgrade will allow for better electric car access to Rockingham, Warnbro and Marndurah, for instance, as well as other areas south of the state capital.

The network could be up and running by mid-2015. However, with Tesla also planning a network supercharger stations between Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, the RAC will have to step on the gas if it wants to be a true Australian first.