ELu Gathers Electric Vehicles, Sporting Greats, & Good Food

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Doug Fraser, Queensland Director of eLu , certainly pulled out all the stops when he marshalled a range of players in the electric vehicle space to promote EVs at the Titans Rugby League home ground on the Gold Coast this week — Parkwood Village Golf Club.

Doug is a master at creating community partnerships to raise electric vehicle awareness. For my American readers, I must explain: Rugby League is like grid iron for real men — the players don’t wear padding! Watch the annual State of Origin matches in mid-year for a taste. Some exhibition games were recently played in Las Vegas.

eLu launch
eLu DC ultra-fast charger at Parkwood. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

ELu is an EV charging station solution provider that installs and manages 22 kWh AC and ultra-fast DC charging pods that include battery integration. The integrated Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) enables the chargers to operate effectively and sustainably at locations that have limited power infrastructure. ELu chooses locations that give a pleasant charging experience — golf courses, sports clubs, and tourist spots. Each pod is equipped with three AC chargers and one DC ultra-fast charger equipped with two charging points.

A wholly owned Australian company, Lumen Energy Australia has two subsidiaries — ELu and Elumina. Whilst ELu sets up public charging pods, Elumina supplies chargers to fleets and dealers (like Frizelle Sunshine Auto Group) that are transitioning to EVs and need to charge their demonstrators and new vehicles upon sale. ELu is a new company having only started trading a little over a year ago. The Parkwood Village Titans event was their national product launch. While charging at Parkwood, customers can shop, attend the medical centre, or even play a game of golf. Don’t worry, monitoring by eLu makes sure that cars are moved when fully charged, making way for the next thirsty EV.

The chargers installed by eLu have already been installed in Europe — in Spain, Germany, and Sweden. Several thousand machines are already in service. Although made in China, eLu has had significant input to modify the design for Australia’s rugged conditions, with extra cooling mechanisms and being sealed to keep the critters out.

ELu has at least five other projects in the pipeline and is considering charging pods on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, and Gladstone. Doug tells me that eLu is aiming for ten charging pods in the short term, even moving into the west. There will be plenty of public chargers for all those new EVs hitting the road. After building the Queensland network, it will be time to move south. ELu is already progressing locations in New South Wales. Meanwhile, eLumina is selling the charging hardware to dealers and fleet managers throughout Australia. This company is moving fast.

When we arrived at Parkwood Village for the launch, we found Doug with a battery-powered air blower cleaning up the leaves around the newly install DC fast charger. He is very proud of the project and beams as he tells me it is one of the first to have a credit card reader. Tap and go. The charging pod consists of one dual-gun ultra-fast DC charger and three 22 kWh AC chargers. It can accommodate up to five vehicles at a time. DC charging costs 67¢/kWh, level 2 AC charging is 47¢/kWh.

eLu's launch at Parkwood Village.
Doug and David try out the new chargers. Photo courtesy  of Majella Waterworth.

The units were installed by Arran from Regenev. In a similar approach, Doug and Arran are installing an eLu high-speed DC charger at Gunabul Homestead Golf Club and Function Centre. “We pride ourselves on installing and setting up DC fast charging in 3 days. This includes concreting and site preparation,” Arran tells me.

Gunabul Homestead is situated in the picturesque rolling hills of the Mary Valley on the outskirts of Gympie, just off the Bruce Highway (on Highway 1, just a couple of hours drive from Brisbane) and was also chosen for its amenities. It is a very pleasant place to spend time while your car is charging. The Gunabul charging station is also unique in that it is “trailer friendly.” Ther’s plenty of space to drive through for those towing horse floats, boats, or caravans. Being over 100 years old, Gunabul Homestead has a limited electricity system. This is not a problem with eLu’s integrated battery charging system. The 200-kWh battery in the charger trickle charges from the grid and is then able to discharge to a waiting vehicle at speed. The battery acts like a buffer.

Arran is also the Queensland rep for the Tesla Owners Club and so invited all members of the Queensland branch to come and examine the new chargers, have a chat, have lunch, and meet the Titans. Retired club legend Anthony Don (“the Don” is the club’s most prolific try scorer), accompanied by marketing rep Devan and the captain of the “Leagueability” team, Ethan, glad-handed the visitors and signed free merchandise.

eLu launch
22 Teslas from Queensland Tesla Owners Association attended. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

There was something for everyone, even a jumping castle for the kids! The Gold Coast Titans Leauguability program is “the first disability rugby league program in Australia to provide a competition for both men and women.”

eLu launch
David, Devon, Arran, Ethan, Anthony, and Doug. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Regenev recently made a splash on CleanTechnica when I was able to report their installation of an EV charger at a local Toyota dealership.

For the eLu launch, Frizelle Sunshine Auto Group brought over two million dollars’ worth of electric vehicles to display to the general public. At one end of the lineup were the Audis, then the Kias and Hyundais, and culminating in the Ford E-Transit and the Hyundai MIGHTY Electric Truck. Frizelle is a sponsor of the Titans, as is eLu.

eLu launch
Frizelle Sunshine Auto Group provided an extensive EV display. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

I grabbed “the Don” at the end of the signing extravaganza and coerced him into taking my Tesla for a drive. He took the Model 3 SR+ for a spin around the car park, then up the dual carriageway — where I encouraged him to be a little naughty with the vehicle. To say he was impressed would be an understatement. He found the acceleration unbelievable and the tech futuristic. Sadly, I couldn’t show him much, as he was pressed for time. He is kept busy as a coach and a TopSport ambassador. I hope he now visits a display room and has a longer test drive in a variety of electric cars. Thanks for giving up your Sunday morning, Anthony!

It was time to get serious, and so we went back to “The Pavilion,” had a formal opening, and Doug extolled the virtues of eLu and the local charging station. Many questions were asked and answered. I am sure that there will be many more. And then the suggestion came — what about a synchronised light show? Imagine 22 Teslas doing the Arrival together! Quite the spectacle. Of course, the one lonely X had to do a different tune, as it mournfully flapped its wings, rose into the air, and flew home.

Time for lunch at The Club Parkwood Village, and then the long, slow drive home up the M1 from the Gold Coast to Brisbane — four lanes of stop-start traffic. Thank goodness Tess would be doing most of the driving!

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David Waterworth

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 is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

David Waterworth has 738 posts and counting. See all posts by David Waterworth