This photo of a huge line of electric vehicles waiting to recharge has raised some eyebrows and some questions about Australia’s electric vehicle industry.

About 11 electric vehicles – mostly Teslas – were queued up along the Dukes Highway at Keith, a town of about 1350 people three hours from Adelaide towards the Victorian border.

Another three EVs were in the available charging bays.

Photos and footage of the queue was posted to online, prompting 2GB host Ben Fordham to question if it was a “sign of what’s to come” in Australia.

It is understood Tesla vehicles will direct drivers to the brand-name charging stations, however the vehicles are able to be plugged into any of the RAA units in South Australia.

There was no noticeable surge at RAA charging stations at the weekend – meaning had they Googled other stations that may have saved themselves a line-up.

A caller to the show, George, who did not give his surname, said he was in the town at the Easter weekend and counted 13 vehicles including the three in the charging bays.

“One of the people I was with, she got to talking with one of the vehicles and they had been there for an hour and a half just waiting to charge their vehicles so they could be on their way,” George said.

Another person posted a video of the queue on TikTok with the caption, “Buy a Tesla they said.”

It takes about 20 minutes to charge an EV.

EV information site lists two EV charging stations in Keith, with a Tesla Supercharger on Heritage St and another at the Shell service station on the Dukes Highway.

The station in question was not an RAA one, but the automotive body is working together with the South Australian government to build the state’s “first border-to-border network” of EV charge stations.

RAA charge program director Andrew Howard said the organisation was increasing the availability of the EV charging infrastructure with RAA Charge set to become SA’s first “border-to-border EV charging network with 140 sites and 500 charging bays”.

“RAA Charge already has several Ultra-Rapid and Rapid charging stations operational in the South East including at Bordertown, Naracoorte, Kingston and Mt Gambier – with sites soon to come online at Coonalpyn, Meningie and Tailem Bend,” he said.

“South Australia has more fast chargers per registered EV than any other mainland state thanks to the rollout of the RAA Charge network in 2023.”

The network is set to be completed this year.

The image and video comes as the state enforces fines from this week for drivers who park their vehicle in an EV charge bay for any reason other than to plug it in.

Fines of up to $111 could be handed out under the laws the state government introduced and gazetted in November last year.

The rule applies to charging bays that are clearly sign posted as an electric vehicle charging bay, or carry a road marking which consists of an electric vehicle charging symbol.

Mr Howard said the new rule would help free up EV charging bays and address confusion for some drivers.

“The majority of drivers now understand the importance of EV charging bays and do the right thing,” he said.

According to new statistics released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, EV take-up doubled to 7.2 per cent of total new vehicle sales as Australia sold a record number of new vehicles in 2023.

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