The fifth electric vehicle rapid charging station by EV network provider Chargefox is now open in seaside village and surf mecca Torquay, Victoria.
Opened this morning by Chargefox CEO Marty Andrews and Victoria’s minister for energy, environment and climate change Lily D’Ambrosio, the latest site in what will be a 22-strong network of ultra-rapid and fast chargers from Adelaide to Brisbane, as well as Tasmania and Perth surrounds, once complete features four chargers in total.
This is comprised of two 175kW chargers made by Swiss automation and electrification giant ABB and two 50kW Veefil-RT fast chargers designed and developed by Australia’s own Tritium, a world leading maker of electric vehicle (EV) fast and rapid charging infrastructure.
With both CHAdeMO and CCS2 plug types allowing for use by current and yet-to-be released (in Australia at least) EVs, the two 175kW chargers can also be combined to provide up to 350kW charging to add as much as 400km driving range in 15 minutes.
Located at the picturesque Torquay Golf Club carpark, the 50kW chargers can add 120km in the time it takes to walk to Jan Juc beach and back.
“The new charging station is a significant milestone, enabling electric vehicle drivers to travel from Melbourne to Bells Beach, drive the Great Ocean Road, and get to Victoria’s western regional areas without any long charging stops,” said Andrews in a note by email.
“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. Our new Torquay station is the next stepping stone on our journey to connect Australia’s major cities for the thousands of drivers using efficient, clean electric vehicles.”
Lily D’Ambrosio believes that the opening of the Torquay charger will be a boon to tourism in the area, encouraging people driving emission-free vehicles to visit the area and the Great Ocean Road beyond.
“More of these charging stations will boost tourism, reduce carbon emissions and help us build a cleaner, more sustainable future,” she said in a statement.
The Chargefox network has been made possible thanks to funding from the Australian Mobility Clubs (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT) through their subsidiary Australian Motoring Services, Wilson Transformers and the founder of Carsales, Greg Roebuck, as well as government grants from ARENA and the Victorian government.
“RACV has seen a growing trend in the market of battery-powered and hybrid vehicles, so charging will undoubtedly become an increasingly important part of our members’ journeys in the future. Providing access to a quality network is critical, and RACV is pleased to work with Chargefox to deliver this network,” executive general manager, home and energy division at RACV Nicole Brasz sais in a note by email.
“Torquay is the starting point to one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives so to be able to offer a reliable and fast EV charging station for people travelling along this beautiful coastline is exciting. This means EV drivers can travel more confidently and enjoy the drive instead of being concerned about where they can charge.”
With 17 more chargers planned in the public charging network, Chargefox are also making sure electric vehicle drivers can access its infrastructure through a range of deals cut with carmakers such as the recently inked deal for the BMW i3 and i3s.
Along with a recent deal announced in July that Chargefox would take over management of the Queensland Charging Super Highway (QESH), electric vehicle drivers will once the entire network is complete be able to take advantage of electric vehicle DC fast charging all the way from Adelaide to Cairns.
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.