A group of Tasmanian electric vehicle enthusiasts have raised $500,000 to build fast-charging stations on roads across the state.

Members of the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association have raised the money in an effort to lead the push towards low-emissions vehicles.

The fast-charging stations – 11 proposed throughout the state – would quickly charge stationery vehicles by plugging them in.

Electric vehicle group member Ray Johnston said it was serious about growing the battery-powered market in the state.

“Our company believes that it’s a chicken and egg situation,” he said.

“People won’t buy electric vehicles unless there’s somewhere to charge them up.

“The government doesn’t believe in putting in charging stations unless there are electric vehicles so someone has got to make a stance.”

An application for the state government to match the half-a-million dollar funding commitment for charging stations was rejected.

Mr Johnston said the group was told it was ahead of its time.

Despite the rejection, he said someone “has got to start the ball rolling” by building charging stations.

“We are ready to proceed with the first one and we hope that might be in in the next year,” he said.

Mr Johnston would not reveal the location of the station, but said it would be located in a highly-populated area.

“It makes sense for companies like a taxi company to convert their fleet to electric but they would only do that if they had access to fast charging,” he said.

“That’s the same with the government’s fleet – they will go to their destination, they’ll have a meeting and they can plug the car in and 30 minutes later they can proceed on.”

Some roads in Queensland and Western Australia feature charging points.

Mr Johnston said the small apple isle was perfectly placed to lead the nation in electric-vehicle ownership.

“I think it’s important in Tasmania because we can boast that we have clean electricity and also Tasmania has relatively short distances,” he said,

“It’s an ideal state to go electric.”

He acknowledged the state’s small market as being a downside.

Extracted from The Examiner.