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The Case for Low-Speed Chargers in the ‘Burbs

Sydney, Capital of New South Wales Australia is planning on using existing electricity infrastructure to make cheap, low speed charging available to all. 

Many cities around the world are keen to transition to EVs to solve their pollution problems. London, for example, is installing low-speed chargers in lampposts for those who do not have access to a garage (which would be most). Sydney, Capital of New South Wales Australia, is planning on using existing electricity infrastructure to make cheap, low-speed charging available to all. 

Not everybody needs a high-speed charger. With electricity so abundantly available, there are many cheaper and easier options, like using the StreetSide power kiosk (that is already there in many Sydney suburbs — over 13,000 kiosks) to get a free charge. This initiative is being set up by network owner Ausgrid and EV charging company Jolt. They plan to provide 500 such charging points across Sydney.

Residents of Mona Vale in Sydney’s north can get a free charge of up to 7 kWh daily (equivalent to about 15 minutes of charging, or 45 kilometres of range) via the Jolt app. This suburb was selected because of the high percentage of EVs in the area. Though, as one person has commented: “It’s a clever idea but 15 minutes is too long to just sit around waiting and not long enough to satisfy. I expect most people to pay and walk away.”

I would expect that the people using this service would live nearby, so the time interval might not be an issue for some — put the car on charge, go home for a coffee, come back, move the car, and it’s charged for tomorrow’s commute. I am sure smart, money-wise Aussies will work out the best use. It may depend on the interaction between convenience and cost.

Jolt reports that drivers are already using the Mona Vale kiosk as well as the Hornsby Kiosk that was opened in April. Expect to see many more of these in operation as EV sales surge down under.

 
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Written By

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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