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ARENA announces $15m EV infrastructure project

EV infrastructure investment sees 42 new fast-charging sites planned across country

General News logo26 Aug 2019

THE Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced a $15 million investment into electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure, with EV charging specialist Evie Networks tasked with creating Australia’s largest ultra-fast highway network.

 

In total, 42 sites will be constructed on highways connecting Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane as well as destination charging stations in Perth, Tasmania and Far North Queensland.

 

The first site north of Brisbane begins construction today, with hopes that 23 sites will be operational by this time next year.

 

Each of the 42 planned sites will features charging for two cars concurrently, with Tritium chargers that can increase the range of an average Australian EV by 100km in 15 minutes to be used.

 

All sites will be open access, with all EV models to be compatible with the chargers, including Teslas via an adaptor.

 

Sites will be carefully spaced out to ensure even the most affordable EV models will be able to travel along the network of highways, while all stations will be powered by renewable energy.

 

The latest investment from ARENA forms part of the federal government’s $50.2 million investment to create the National Land Transport Network charging stations.

 

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the implementation of networks such as this will help encourage the take-up rate of EVs in Australia.

 

“Evie’s fast charging stations across the country will help to increase the supply and adoption of electric vehicles by building the charging infrastructure in key areas along major roads,” he said.

 

“Reducing range anxiety will encourage EV uptake by giving motorists confidence they can get where they want to go – even on long road trips.”

 

ARENA has also worked with another Australian EV charging specialist, Chargefox, which last year launched an ultra-fast network connecting highways along the eastern seaboard, from Brisbane through to Adelaide, as well as in Perth and Tasmania.

 

Mr Miller said the Evie and Chargefox networks will provide complementary coverage along the highway routes.

 

A report published by EV advisory service Energeia earlier this year estimated that mass-market adoption of EVs in Australia will occur around 2025, at which point the cost of purchase and ownership of an EV will overtake an internal-combustion vehicle.

 

The tipping point for fleet vehicles is predicted to occur two years earlier, by 2023.

 

A separate report from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics suggested that by 2035, 50 per cent of new-vehicle sales will be made up of EVs, which trails many other developed countries who are tipped to hit the landmark figure between 2025 and 2030.


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