Chargefox says it has successfully completed the first phase of its plan to build an ultra-fast electric vehicle charging network across key road networks, opening its latest site in Cooma, NSW.
The Chargefox network now comprises 22 sites with 350kW and 50kW DC fast-chargers stretching from Cairns in northern Queensland, down the eastern seaboard to Melbourne and across to Adelaide, as well as sites in Western Australia. It also manages the Queensland Electric Super Highway.
Chargefox kicked off its ambitious plan in late 2018 announcing a$15 million injection of funding from Australia’s leading automobile clubs and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
“We started Chargefox to create a cleaner Australia for our kids, and we’ve relied on that motivation to get us through the complexities of building this country’s first-ever ultra-rapid charging network,” said Marty Andrews, CEO and co-founder of Chargefox in a note by email.
“The team has worked incredibly hard to bring our vision to life, and we look forward to expanding the network soon. Throughout the network build, we’ve listened to our customers – the EV community of Australia – and it’s remarkable to hear the volume of these conversations amplify as the country navigates climate policy.”‘
Since opening its first site in Euroa in 2018, Chargefox says it has powered more than 4 million kilometres of driving – and all of its completely emissions-free as the network is powered by energy sourced from renewables.
That equals enough energy, the network has calculated, to power 18 Melbourne Cricket Grounds.
To make charging easier and more affordable for electric vehicle drivers, the company has cut deals with Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche and Volvo to offer free or discounted charging to owners of certain models.
In addition to these discounts, members of Australian Motoring Clubs including NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC, RACT and AANT can receive a 20% discount when charging. When an owner of one of the above-mentioned EV models, and a club member, the discount is increased to 50%.
The maximum charge rate when using a 350kW charger depends on the vehicle. Currently, the fastest charging model in Australia is the Porsche Taycan which is limited to a top rate of 270kW, meaning it can add more than 250km driving range every 10 minutes of charging.
Some sites, however, remain limited in their charging rates by local network owners. Those issues are now being worked on.
So what’s next for Chargefox? Details of a second phase have not yet been revealed, but Andrews assures that “Chargefox will continue to do all it can to promote zero-emissions transport and support more Aussies on their path to EV ownership.”
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 since 2018. She 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.