Sydney is about to take a massive leap forward into the future of electric mobility, with the first ultra-rapid charging site almost ready for launch by EV network Chargefox.
Chargefox recently accelerated its plan to roll out 22 ultra-rapid charger sites dot Australian highways from Adelaide to Brisbane, having already launched locations in Melbourne (the largest site in the southern hemisphere), Brisbane, Torquay, Euro and Barnawatha.
Sydney is next on the list along with five other locations: Ballina, Cooma, Karuah, and Gundagai in NSW and Moe in Victoria.
The 350kW ultra-rapid chargers are Veefil PK units made by Brisbane-based EV fast-charger maker Tritium, and were spotted by Sydney-based Model 3 owner Will Deasy (aka Electric Future), who posted the images on social media channel Twitter.
— Electric Future (@electricfuture5) October 26, 2019
The brand new, out-of-the-box chargers sit in front of a considerable amount of electrical cabling required to deliver the huge amounts of power to the ultra-rapid charging units.
Chargefox CEO Martin Andrews responded to the tweet confirming the location at 4 Defries Avenue, Zetland.
— Marty Andrews (@martinjandrews) October 27, 2019
Ultra-rapid chargers allow EV owners to very quickly add as much as 450km range in as little as ten minutes.
This rapid rate of charge depends on the vehicle – the Porsche Taycan, which is not yet available in Australia, is the only EV that can yet take full advantage of the 350kW maximum.
However, the vehicle that can charge the fastest on an ultra-rapid charger in Australia is currently the Tesla Model 3, which is now the most common EV on Australian roads having overtaken all other electric cars in a matter of weeks after its arrival in late August.
It is understood that some Model 3 owners are reaching charging rates of nearly 200kW, such as ex-Car Advice journo Paul Maric who reached 194kW equating to adding around 318km driving range per 15 minutes.
Thanks for the charge at Airport West, @Chargefox! The @Tesla Model 3 smashed it – pulling 194kW 😁 – will post a video of it in action later on. Full review of the Model 3 Performance at the @car_advice website. pic.twitter.com/4kFMfQujfy
— Paul Maric (@PaulMaric) August 3, 2019
While access to a DC fast charger is not a necessity when owning an electric car, there are certainly situations when the ability to charge up quickly is a preferable.
Update: Chargefox has confirmed that the Sydney site includes two 350kW units and one 50kW, and will be opened before the end of 2019. Some updated photos through came through from Deasy overnight of the parking spaces painted with clear branding – stand by Sydney!
— Electric Future (@electricfuture5) November 4, 2019
Correction: Chargefox has clarified that the Sydney chargers are not part of the NRMA network. According to a spokesperson for Chargefox, “Our relationship with NRMA in NSW does extend to managing fast charging sites for them, but all ultra-rapid sites that we build in NSW are Chargefox built, owned and operated.”
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.