Cities and regional areas will soon be linked by an extensive ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging network consisting of sites from Cairns to Adelaide, as well as locations around Perth and Tasmania.
Electric vehicles have often been dismissed as not having enough range or not being able to recharge fast enough to make them a suitable alternative to petrol and diesel vehicles to travel Australia’s vast distances.
However, a nationwide ultra-rapid charging network being rolled out Melbourne-based Chargefox aims to bust that myth, with a full list of 22 sites adding to Queensland’s existing 17 site network and a goal to extend the network to 100 sites in total.
Each site in the Chargefox network will consist of a minimum of two bays offering 350kW Tritium and ABB ultra-rapid chargers that can recharge a vehicle with up to 400km range within 15 minutes (this is of course dependent on maximum charge rate of any particular EV).
Certain sites will also offer 50kW charging units that can add 60km of driving range in 15 minutes.
All chargers will feature both CHAdeMO and CCS2 plug types, suitable for all current and future DC-capable EVs, including Tesla electric vehicles when used with an adapter.
So far, five sites have been opened by Chargefox in its network that will stretch from Brisbane to Adelaide, including Toombul in Brisbane, Airport West in Melbourne as well as Torquay, Euroa and Barnawatha in Victoria.
We can now reveal the locations for the other 17 sites are as follows:
NSW: Gundagai, Sydney, Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Karuah, Cooma, Shell Cove and Goulburn.
VIC: Ballarat, Moe and Horsham
TAS: Central Tasmania
SA: Greater Adelaide and Keith
WA: West Perth and Australind
Chargefox CEO Marty Andrews said in a note by email that Chargefox is “committed to making EV charging simple, fast and clean, and are thrilled to be leading the way in making this a reality for all Australians”.
“Our plans to complete the first phase of our ultra-rapid network are well underway now. From our rapid growth over the past two years, we’re learning how drivers in Australia use EVs, and are now using those lessons in future planning to grow the network Australians need,” Andrews said.
The Chargefox network is supplemented by the Queensland Electric Superhighway otherwise known as QESH, which Chargefox took over management of in July.
Along with 17 sites in the QESH stretching all along the Queensland coast from Brisbane to Cairns, the Chargefox network on the eastern seaboard will once complete consist of 36 sites with an additional two in WA and one in Tasmania.
The network can be used via the Chargefox smartphone app, and has been made possible by funding from Australian Motoring Services (RACV, NRMA, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT), Wilson Transformers and the founder of Carsales, Greg Roebuck.
It is also supported with grants from ARENA (Australian Renewable Energy Agency) and the Victorian Government.
Electric vehicle maker Tesla also has a 31-strong network of DC 150kW fast chargers with another 10 planned for roll out. These chargers however can only be used by Tesla vehicles.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.