High-speed EV charging network comes to Australia

Friday, 26 October, 2018

High-speed EV charging network comes to Australia

It will soon become easier for owners of electrical vehicles (EV) to travel around Australia, with the launch of the country’s biggest ultrarapid EV charging network.

Chargefox, co-founded by JET Charge, plans to roll out 21 sites by 2020, beginning with Euroa and Barnawartha North in Victoria.

The charging stations will be located no more than 200 km apart on major interstate freeways connecting Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, and further sites are also planned around Perth. This will help reduce charging times and limit the issue of range anxiety. Each site will have a minimum of two charging stations and is suitable for all EVs.

The first station in Euroa will have four charging stations, 150 kW of solar and 450 kWh of station storage. Barnawartha North, the second site, will feature landscaping, picnic facilities, four charging stations and 200 kW of ground-mount solar.

ABB has been announced as a key technology partner and supplier of Chargefox. Both sites will feature two of ABB’s 350 kW Terra HP high-speed chargers that are capable of delivering up to 400 km of range in 15 minutes.

Frank Muehlon, Managing Director for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at ABB, said: “ABB is proud to collaborate with Chargefox and its partners on this innovative venture, the first of its kind in Australia, and to be able to assist in deploying the first of the new generation of high-power charging stations in Asia Pacific.”

The development of these two sites follows a $1 million grant from the Victorian Government earlier this year. ARENA also recently announced $6 million in funding to build the network.

The charging network will help accelerate the uptake of EVs in Australia, which has been largely restricted by infrastructure concerns. Tim Washington, CEO of JET Charge and Director of Chargefox, pointed out that Australia has previously lagged behind the rest of the world in terms of high-powered charging infrastructure, but he described the charging network as “one of the most sophisticated EV charging infrastructure projects in the world”.

He said: “The Chargefox charging network sees Australia leapfrogging other territories, joining Europe and the US as the only other jurisdiction with a 350 kW network.”

A report by the Electric Vehicle Council and ClimateWorks Australia found that there was a 67% increase in the number of EVs sold in Australia from 2016 to 2017, and interest in EVs is predicted to grow further.

“EVs represent a reset of the automotive industry. Australia should take advantage of this reset by being the leader in services allowing the integration of EV charging and sources of electricity generation. We will be conducting a number of programs to take advantage of our solar generation, stationary storage facilities and significant connections to the electricity grid. This knowledge can be shared with our partners to ensure maximum adoption of EVs into the Australian market.”

The 21 sites will be powered using renewable energy and are expected to be completed by 2020. To see the full network, click here.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/jdoms

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