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Chargefox plugs in Australia’s new EV charging network
Four major car brands throw support behind Chargefox EV quick-charging stations
25 Oct 2018
By TUNG NGUYEN
CHARGEFOX has opened its first electric vehicle (EV) charging station in Euroa with support from Audi, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Mercedes-Benz, while announcing an additional five sites to open in Victoria by mid-2019.
The new stations will be located in Melbourne, Horsham, Ballarat, Torquay and Traralgon following a $2 million investment announced by Victorian energy, environment and climate change minister Lily D’Ambrosio, joining the existing Euroa and Barnawartha North sites – the latter to open next month.
In total, 21 sites will be built with at least two stations apiece to connect Australia’s east coast from Melbourne to Brisbane – and eventually Perth – each capable of delivering 350kW of juice that can charge an EV up to about 80 per cent in 15 minutes for a range boost of around 400 kilometres, depending on the model.
While charge pricing is yet to be announced for Chargefox’s stations, the service is free to use in Euroa until the end of November.
For reference, Tesla Australia charges 35 cents for every kWh used from its 22-strong 120kW Supercharger network that joins Adelaide with Brisbane via Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.
Attending Chargefox’s opening event were representatives from four major car brands with emissions-free models launching locally over the next 14 months, including the Ioniq from Hyundai, Jaguar’s i-Pace, the Mercedes-Benz EQC and Audi’s e-tron SUV that was on display in prototype guise at the event.
Audi Australia product planning and pricing director Shawn Ticehurst said the e-tron is well suited to take advantage of the fast-charging capabilities of the Chargefox network.
“With a range of over 400km and a charging capacity of 150kW, the all-new Audi e-tron has a faster charging capacity than any current EV,” he said.
“It’s dependent on fast-charging infrastructure like the Chargefox network, and so we are pleased to be one of the network’s founding partners.”
Meanwhile, Hyundai future mobility and government relations manager Scott Nargar said: “Hyundai looks forward to working with Chargefox and our other industry partners – including the Australia EV Council – to make zero emissions transport and the infrastructure required to power it a reality for all Australians.”
JLR Australia managing director Mark Cameron said the Chargefox network will be a viable solution for its customers looking to travel interstate.
“Jaguar Land Rover Australia have been examining the landscape for some time now to secure a journey charging solution through a public network infrastructure provider,” he said.
“We have examined many potential opportunities, however the Chargefox ultra-rapid charging network warranted our attention. The planned footprint covering the major highways … suggested a sound journey charging solution for those choosing to travel beyond the confines of the major metropolitan centres.”
Finally, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific CEO and managing director Horst von Sanden said the new charging infrastructure is “a vital step” for the burgeoning local EV market.
“The announcement that Chargefox will install a high-powered network of charging infrastructure follows the world premiere of the first fully electric Mercedes-Benz passenger car, the EQC,” he said.
“We believe the installation of fast and powerful charging stations in key locations around Australia is a vital step that will allow electric car owners to easily travel interstate.”
Companies who have yet to indicate if they will join with Chargefox, but offer plug-in EVs locally, include BMW, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Renault, Volvo and soon, Nissan.
According to Chargefox CEO Marty Andrews, the support from car-makers will push Australia into the next stage of EV readiness.
“These foundation partnerships with the world’s leading automobile manufacturers demonstrate Australia’s steadfast commitment to innovative, electric-focussed, sustainable solutions within the automobile industry,” he said.
“The introduction of the Chargefox ultra-rapid charging network will help remove the sizeable barriers that currently prevent customers from accessing alternative, sustainable, vehicular-based travel solutions.”
Last year, the Queensland government announced it will build an Electric Super Highway to join Cairns to Coolangatta, earmarked for completion by the end of 2018.
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