- Australia's electric vehicle (EV) charging network will receive a much-needed boost, with 80 high-speed chargers to be installed between major cities to assist long-distance travel -- the largest network of its kind in the country.
- The chargers will be capable of adding 350 kilometres to a vehicle's range in just ten minutes, helping alleviate wait time and range anxiety amongst EV drivers.
- The new network will be implemented as a partnership with Californian company EV Connect, with the hope of emulating EV adoption rates here in Australia.
In what could be the next step for Australia's electric vehicle (EV) future, the largest network of high-speed chargers is to be installed between major cities, beginning in the next month.
More than 80 ultra-fast chargers will be fitted at 46 sites around the country, strategically placed to allow for long-distance travel. The new chargers can add 350 kilometres of range in just 10 minutes, eclipsing the speeds of larger current networks like Tesla's for example.
Australian charging station designer Evie Networks will team up with Californian software company EV Connect to roll out the network. They will be backed by Brisbane-based energy technology investor, St Baker Energy Innovation Fund, which committed $28 million to the project.
“For Australia to fully realize all the benefits of EVs, we have to reduce range and charging anxiety by giving drivers access to charging and information about chargers, no matter where they travel,” EV Connect founder and CEO Jordan Ramer said in a statement provided to Business Insider Australia.
The new high-speed network is the latest development in Australia's growing, albeit relatively slow, adoption of EVs and comes just months after Infrastructure Australia named such a project a national priority.
"The advent of electric vehicles, along with automation, growth in the ‘sharing economy’ and technological connectivity, could bring the largest transformation the transport sector has seen since the shift from steam to diesel locomotives," Infrastructure Australia Chair Julieanne Alroe said.
Evie Networks CEO Chris Mills said the partnership with a US company was part of a strategy to emulate the American market.
"Based in one of the most mature EV markets in the world, EV Connect brings the experience and capability to reliably connect with a wide range of charging stations and vehicle models. We saw this as critical to providing the dependable charging experience that we want for Australian drivers and partners," Mills said.
After all, it wasn't that long ago that you couldn't even dream of driving outside of a major Australian city with an electric vehicle.
This is what Australia's national network looked like in early 2015.
Fast-forward a few years and Australia is now home to more than 330 charging locations. The newest network will take that number to over 400.
The rapid explosion of charging points is no accident. The Australian Electric Vehicle Association and Tesla Owners Club of Australia both committed to helping boost the national network. Their aim was to have no more than 300km between any two charging points, which they achieved (with just two exceptions) in May 2018.