Electric vehicle charging company JET Charge has vowed to ramp up its operations in New South Wales, in response to the state government’s EV package that includes $171 million of spending on charging infrastructure.
NSW plans to have charge points every 5 kilometres along Sydney’s major commuter corridors, every 100km or so along major highways, within 5km of residential areas with limited off-street parking, and “in or near” commuter car parks.
The idea is that the money will “co-fund” infrastructure development with the private sector, meaning charging infrastructure providers like JET Charge (which is also a co-owner of charging infrastructure operator and tech company Chargefox) will have an incentive to install more stations.
Tim Washington, founder of JET Charge and co-founder of Chargefox, lost no time in declaring the policy would be a major boost for his firm.
“Because of this action, JET Charge will dramatically increase its NSW operations, providing meaningful opportunities for many to partake in the EV transition,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “When government supports, industry will respond. Congratulations to the entire team at NSW gov.
Chargefox currently operates 770 public chargers around Australia, and before the NSW government’s announcement it said it planned to “grow the full public network to 1000’s of chargers in the years to come”.
The NRMA, which currently operates 41 chargers in 19 locations across mostly regional NSW, and plans to push that number up to 60, also welcomed the NSW government’s reform. However, it said it was too early to comment on exactly how it would respond.
“The automobile industry has already decided that by 2030 we are going to see a global shift in what we drive and how we drive it, so it’s good news that the NSW government is stepping up to the plate to make sure we’re ready,” NRMA Group chief executive Rohan Lund said.
Of the $171 million spent by the NSW government, $20 million will go in grants for regional tourism locations. Lund said this chimed with NRMA’s own experience of where the demand was.
“The government’s announcement of a push toward EV tourism confirms much of what we’re already seeing in our own electric vehicle network – frequent use of our charging stations across regional destinations as a result of increased domestic drive tourism,” he said.
Australia charging equipment manufactruer Tritium, which supplies NRMA, also welcomed the announcement. Chief executive Jane Hunter called it “smart policy” and said she believed it would have benefits beyond just NSW.
“While NSW has a footprint of chargers thanks to NRMA, Evie Networks, Chargefox, JET Charge, and others, installing more chargers across the state is key to showing drivers that electric vehicles are the new normal, and that they can drive an EV anywhere and charge as easily as they can find a petrol station and fill up their internal combustion engine.” she said.
“The NSW government’s $171 million commitment to rolling out charging infrastructure is smart policy and should stimulate the uptake of electric vehicles not just in NSW but across Australia.”
James Fernyhough is a reporter at RenewEconomy and The Driven. He has worked at The Australian Financial Review and the Financial Times, and is interested in all things related to climate change and the transition to a low-carbon economy.