Australian electric vehicle charging company Jolt Charge is to create a free EV charging network in Adelaide, after winning financial support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for the trial.
The trial will include 21 free roadside electric vehicle (EV) charging spots, powered by 100% renewable energy and will feature integrated advertising panels in Adelaide car parks, streets and suburbs, with installations commencing in coming weeks.
The $2 million trial will include 15 minutes free charging for all types of modern EVs, adding approximately 45km driving range with a maximum charge rate of 25 kilowatts. Drivers looking for an additional boost in range can pay a fee for kilowatt hours subsequent to that.
Jolt’s concept will test the viability of covering the cost of the installation of the chargers, plus the free charging, with the revenue from advertising sales.
As reported by The Driven in October, the company entered into another agreement with Ausgrid to integrate roadside chargers into the energy provider’s electricity kiosk boxes in Sydney.
Doug McNamee, CEO of Jolt Charg,e said the company was thrilled to see its vision come to life and provide much needed infrastructure for EV drivers.
“Increasing the availability of charging infrastructure is a key piece of the puzzle for widespread adoption of EVs,” he said. “We are excited to be partnering with innovative and forward-thinking councils, helping them transition to a zero-emission transport future.
Darren Miller, the CEO of ARENA which is providing $1 million in funding support, said the new trial is an innovative model that would help the company better understand consumer behaviour in using EV charging in metro areas.
“The advertiser funded model for EV charging is untested in Australia and JOLT’s project could lead to a viable business model to address charging availability and range anxiety and therefore lead to increased uptake of EVs,” Miller said in a statement.
“This project will test the appetite of customers living in metro areas who use their vehicles for shorter trips to charge their vehicles while they’re out shopping or at public events. The more we can learn about consumer behavior now, the better prepared we will be for the broader uptake of EVs across Australia, ” he said.
The ARENA funding comes under the federal government’s “Future Fuels Fund” which it says, “will help businesses and regional communities take advantage of opportunities offered by hydrogen, electric, and bio-fuelled vehicles.”
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.