The Victorian government has thrown its weight behind the installation of “ultra” fast electric vehicle charging stations at two regional locations in the state, through a $1 million grant to Melbourne-based outfit ChargeFox.
Energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio said on Wednesday that ChargeFox would use the funding to develop what she described as Australia’s first ultra-rapid vehicle charging stations in Euroa and Barnawartha North, near Wodonga.
While at #AllEnergyAutoday I announced $1 million to develop Australia’s fastest electric vehicle stations here in Victoria. We’re supporting local businesses and ensuring we’re at the forefront of new energy technology that will help reduce emissions. https://t.co/JI9YSRwaaspic.twitter.com/dtmiZnWWmW
— Lily D’Ambrosio MP (@LilyDAmbrosioMP) October 3, 2018
Chargefox, which is behind an EV charge management software platform designed and built in Australia, will match the government’s funding to get the two charging sites, each with multiple charging stations, up and running by the end of October.
ChargeFoxCEO and co-founder Marty Andrews said the Euroa station would be built first, starting this month, and would comprise two 350kW ultra-rapid fast chargers by ABB, and two lower powered fast chargers – 50kW – by fellow Australian EV infrastructure company, Tritium.
The Barnawartha North station will most likely have the same set-up, Andrews said.
According to the Victorian government statement, the ABB chargers – able to deliver up to 400km of range in 15 minutes – are the fastest of any charger currently deployed in Australia.
And that is quite probably accurate – but not for long. Brisbane-based Tritium, for one, is producing its own 475kW High Power Chargers, which it says offer 150km of range in 5 minutes, and which it is currently deploying across various networks in Europe.
That company was recently the recipient of part of $US3.2 million in fundingawarded to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) by the US government, to make its Veefil-PK ultra-fast charger smaller, more efficient and cheaper to buy.
ChargeFox, meanwhile, has been making its own progress; including through a deal won by sister company Jet Charge, to partner auto giant Jaguar Land Rover in the roll-out of a $4 million EV charging network to support the arrival of its new all-electric SUV in Australia, the Jaguar I-Pace.
As we reported here, the network of charging stations will be installed at 45 dealerships across the country, including 13 at its new headquarters in Mascot, Sydney, and at its new show-rooms in Essendon, Melbourne.
The government said the locations for the two new regional charging stations were chosen to make it easier for motorists travelling interstate, as well as to provide “a boon for local economies,” and boost tourism in regional Victoria.
“Electric vehicles are the future, and we’re ensuring Victoria is at the forefront of this transition,” said D’Ambrosio, who announced the grant at the All-Energy Australia conference in Melbourne on Wednesday morning.
“With our Solar Homes initiative and plans for electric vehicles, Victoria is leading the nation in new energy technology.”