California-based company EV Connect will provide software solutions to support the rollout of an ultra-rapid charging network by Brisbane-based Evie Networks, in a deal that will improve the ability for electric vehicles to comfortably travel between Australia’s major cities.
The EV Connect platform will be deployed across Evie Network’s ultra-fast charging network, which will include the deployment of more than 80 Tritium charging stations located at 42 sites along major highways with an aim to linking Australia’s major cities.
Evie Network aims to provide EV drivers with a charging service comparable to refuelling petrol vehicles at a petrol station, deploying a network of ultra-rapid charging systems across Australia.
EV Connect has built significant experience in deploying EV charging software in the United State, with over 6,000 charging stations already deployed using the company’s software, with customers that include Verizon and Lockheed Martin.
The software will allow users to locate available chargers, and feed analytics back to charger operators and utility companies, allowing for the optimisation of energy services, and support the integration of renewable energy technologies into the electric vehicle charging system.
“EV Connect is the most experienced charging software developer in the market, and we are putting that expertise and the EV Connect platform to work with our partners to build a clean, safe, convenient, and dependable EV charging network across the cities, towns, and highways of Australia,” Evie Networks CEO Chris Mills said.
“Based in one of the most mature EV markets in the world, EV Connect brings the experience and capability to reliably connect with a wide range of charging stations and vehicle models. We saw this as critical to providing the dependable charging experience that we want for Australian drivers and partners.”
The software platform provides a comprehensive management service, providing an interface between users and charging stations including payment services, through to the management of a network of chargers by utility companies, with an aim of facilitating demand management.
EV Connect also provides network operators with charging data analytics and uptime information and the ability to undertake demand response measures
EV Connect CEO and founder Jordan Ramer told RenewEconomy that Australia was a promising market for EV charging service providers.
“Australia is an emerging market, with a good opportunity for the expansion of the use of electric vehicles. In particular, the Australian market has good analogies with the US market.” Ramer said.
“For Australia to fully realize all the benefits of EVs, we have to reduce range and charging anxiety by giving drivers access to charging and information about chargers, no matter where they travel,”
“We are excited to work with Evie Networks as we open the door to long-distance travel for electric vehicles by making charging more accessible and easy to use for drivers and more manageable for network operators,” Ramer added.
Both Evie Networks and Tritium have attracted investment from the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund, formed by businessman Trevor St Baker, who built his fortune through investments in coal generation.
Brisbane based Tritium has made significant advances into the EV charger market, following deals with Evie Networks and Europe’s Ionity.
The continued growth of Australia’s charging networks, driven by firms like Evie Networks and Chargefox highlights the level of misinformation which can still be shared by politicians from all sides of politics, including Labor’s Stephen Conroy who recently claimed that it wasn’t possible to drive an EV vehicle between Sydney and Melbourne.
Michael Mazengarb is a journalist with RenewEconomy, based in Sydney. Before joining RenewEconomy, Michael worked in the renewable energy sector for more than a decade.