Slowly and with baby steps, Australia’s charging network is being built out. As well as large networks of high-speed chargers being built by state governments, along the coastal highways circling this vast country, motoring associations and commercial providers are ramping up their provisions. (It must be noted that these commercial ventures are also in part being subsidized by state government grants.)
Ampol is making good its promise to install high-speed chargers at some of its servos (gas stations) — notably, those with grocery stores and fast food outlets attached.
Recent Facebook posts have shown progress in Sydney and Brisbane. The Ampol Foodary at Carseldine in Brisbane, Queensland, is almost in my backyard (fewer than 5 km away). It also has the advantage of being just a few minutes from the M1 motorway as it emerges from suburbia and heads for the deep north of Queensland. It has 2 bays — one CCS2 and one CHAdeMO, with charging up to 150kW. A good start, but only the beginning.
Trevor St Baker’s charging company Evie Networks, meanwhile, is rolling out chargers at 16 shopping centres throughout Australia. He has partnered with shopping centre manager AMP Capital. AMP has realized that it will need to attract the new breed of car driver in order to make their shopping centres more profitable. There will be two fast-charging stations per shopping centre that will allow cars to be charged by 100% renewable energy.
“AMP Capital is partnering with industry specialists in the EV space to future-proof our assets, as well as to ensure that our customers have the best experience, while keeping pace with community expectations for charging solutions,” AMP Capital head of retail and investment Marco Ettorre said. The EV charging rollout includes a specialised highway configuration at Ocean Keys Shopping Centre in Western Australia that will have an ultra-fast charger allowing a full charge within 15 minutes.
Evie Networks is backed by a $100 million commitment from St Baker Energy Innovation Fund, which was founded by power baron Trevor St Baker. It has also secured a $23.85 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Trevor St Baker has also given financial backing to EV Direct, the Australian importer of BYD electric cars.
Although these seem like baby steps, they are going in the right direction and supplement many other projects underway across Australia.
Image courtesy of Ampol/AmpCharge.
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