BMW i3s charges at Chargefox’s Airport West site. Supplied

Electric car charging provider Chargefox has responded to the NSW and Queensland fire crisis by enabling free DC fast charging and AC destination charging for the next 48 hours.

The generous offer has come in response to requests from electric vehicle owners living in fire affected areas.

The electric vehicle (EV) market in Australia is still very much in its early days, and the ability for EV owners to be able to charge vehicles quickly via DC rapid charging will allow drivers to travel to safer areas with confidence.

Using the 50kW and 350kW charging units at sites in Sydney’s Zetland, Brisbane’s Toombul and the Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH), electric vehicle owners can add between 100-400km driving range to their vehicles in just 15 minutes.

AC charging locations allow drivers to “stop and shop” while recharging vehicles over a matter of hours.

“In response to the current bushfire emergency, all 105 chargers displayed in the Chargefox app in Queensland and New South Wales will be free to use for at least the next 48 hours,” said Chargefox CEO Marty Andrews in a note by email.

“One of our core values is safety, and we believe it’s important for EV drivers to maintain a high level of charge right now, in case they’re advised to evacuate a bushfire affected area.”

Charging network providers such as Chargefox and Evie Networks are currently stepping up pace in the roll out electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with Chargefox announcing in late October that it had six new sites under way.

Evie Networks has today announced the opening of its first charger in Coochin Creek on the Sunshine Coast that will form part of a 42-strong network across Australia’s eastern seaboard backed by $50 million from ARENA.

The two other most recent DC fast charging sites to open include Sydney’s first DC charging site at East Village shopping centre in Zetland and the newest addition to the QESH at Helensvale on the Gold Coast, which has been installed by Yurika.

Other sites currently under construction but not yet available include Ballina, Cooma, Karuah, and Gundagai in NSW and Moe in Victoria.

The NRMA also has a number of sites opening up across the state, including at Glen Innes which has been one of the areas most affected by this week’s devastating fires.

It is understood all NRMA chargers are currently free and we have reached out to the NRMA for verification.

Update: Spokesperson for the NRMA Peter Khoury has confirmed that all NRMA chargers are currently free. A charging structure may be introduced down the track for non-members but the current focus is on rolling out EV fast charging infrastructure to regional areas.

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