An ultra-rapid electric car charger that can recharge a vehicle with 200km of range within 8-10 minutes has been opened for business by Chargefox at the Toombul Shopping Centre in Brisbane’s inner city.
The first of its kind to be opened to the public in Queensland, and the third such in Australia, the ultra-rapid charger will be able to deliver up to 350kW of power to electric vehicles and will source its energy from 100% renewable sources.
As Australia’s only public ultra-fast EV charging network, Melbourne-based Chargefox says it is uniquely positioned to help Australians wanting to undertake long distance travel without the need to stop for several hours to recharge.
With more than 350 fast-charging plugs already installed across Australia and New Zealand, Chargefox has already dispensed a total of over 190MWh of electricity over 25,000 sessions.
Chargefox CEO Marty Andrews said by email that, “Chargefox has a vision that one day 100% of road transport will be powered by renewable energy and that our ultra-rapid chargers will be accessible to all Australian drivers.
“The Chargefox Toombul station opening brings us another step closer in making this vision a reality for all Queenslanders.”
Along with the ultra-rapid charging plug, there will also be a “fast-charger” that delivers 50kW of power to add 60km range to a vehicle within 15 minutes.
We’re thrilled to announce the opening of our first QLD ultra-rapid charging station (third in the network) at the Toombul Shopping Centre in Brisbane. Thanks to @RACQOfficial and @Mirvac. pic.twitter.com/1OEZocYeqh
— Chargefox (@Chargefox) May 9, 2019
The installation of the ultra-rapid charger at Toombul has been supported by the RACQ via its umbrella organisation Australian Motoring Services.
Head of public policy for RACQ, Dr Rebecca Michael, says that the RACQ is excited to push Queensland further along the path to an electric future with accessible, ultra-rapid charging infrastructure.
“Motorists deserve choice and that’s why we’re so happy to be part of this project – we need to ensure EVs are part of the fleet in Queensland now and into the future,” Dr Michael said in a note by email.
“While EVs are far better than they used to be, range anxiety is still a barrier for some drivers. We want to help Queenslanders overcome that, so the Brisbane ultra-rapid charging station is going to be critical.”
— RACQ (@RACQOfficial) May 9, 2019
The Toombul charger is another step in a plan to create a 22-strong network of ultra-rapid chargers that will connect Adelaide with Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, as well as offer smaller networks for Perth and Tasmania.
It joins two other such sites installed by Chargefox, at Euroa and Barnawatha in Victoria, and has been made possible thanks to $17 million raised by ARENA, Australian car clubs NRMA, RACQ, RACV, RAC, RAA and RACT, Car Sales’ Greg Roebuck, Wilson Transformers and the Victorian Government.
The Toombul charger is not only the first ultra-fast EV charger in Queensland, it is also the first to be installed at a shopping centre.
Tim Weale, Mirvac’s national manager for retail solutions said: “As the first shopping centre in Australia with Chargefox ultra-rapid chargers, we anticipate strong demand for the service from our customers, who will be able to conveniently charge their car whilst enjoying our shopping, dining and leisure experiences.”
Chargefox’s Andrews says ultra-rapid charging “is the future and a game changer for all EV drivers and Australians who are considering switching to EVs.
“We’re helping Australia transform from being a global laggard in transport innovation to having only the third ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging network in the world.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.