Electric car fast-charging network Evie Networks has inked a deal with Tritium to supply more than 300 chargers for a new charging infrastructure roll out across Australia.
Under the new deal cut between the two St Baker Energy Innovation Fund-backed companies, 158 new charging destinations will each feature two of Tritium’s 50kW RTM chargers, a scalable solution based on the RTM75 75kW charger that was first unveiled in late 2020.
The RTM50 can supply just under 100km driving range in 20 minutes, and can be upgraded to 75kW if required – enough to add almost 150km of driving range with every 20 minutes’ worth of charging.
A spokesperson for Evie Networks told The Driven exact locations for the new network has not yet been fully confirmed, but all states will benefit from the new rollout.
“It’s fantastic to see this scale of charging infrastructure being deployed in Australia – it will help reduce range anxiety and encourage EV uptake, which is lagging behind other developed countries,” said Tritium CEO Jane Hunter in a statement by email.
“We’re very pleased to see federal government support for the rollout of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. While the e-mobility industry does not require subsidies to support the transition from petrol cars to EVs, it benefits greatly from governments indicating their support for the change via policy statements, which enables public confidence when buying a new car.”
To roll out the infrastructure, Evie Networks will use $8.85 million in funding acquired through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) towards the $25 million project. Evie Networks was the top funding participant in ARENA’s recent charging infrastructure, followed by Ampol, Engie, Chrgefox and Electric Highways Tasmania.
A charging map on the ARENA website which includes more than 400 sites to be rolled out by the various fundees shows the greatest concentration of new chargers will be in and around Australia’s capital cities, as well as Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Wollongong and Newcastle in NSW (noting that locations are subject to change).
Evie Networks will install 90 sites within the Greater Sydney region, 78 in Melbourne and Geelong, 68 in the Greater Brisbane Region, 20 in Perth, 26 in Adelaide, 18 in Canberra, 10 in Hobart and 6 in Darwin according to a list shared to The Driven.
The new rollout by Evie Networks is in addition to its 350kW ultra-fast chargers which includes nine live locations and a total of 42 sites once completed, funded by a $15 million grant from ARENA.
“This is a huge vote of confidence for the team,” said Evie Networks CEO Chris Mills in a statement.
“This expansion across all of Australia’s capital cities will accelerate access to quality fast EV charging for more Australians. Our sites will be prepared for the future with this advanced and upgradeable technology from Tritium.”
ARENA’s most recent funding round is also behind EV chargers to be installed by Ampol (previously Caltex) at 121 of its petrol stations, a controversial move considering the fossil fuel giant also recently benefited from $1 billion in funding to bail out its oil refinery business.
Likewise, the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund – a vehicle of coal baron Trevor St Baker, whose fortune is thanks to massive returns from the carbon-intensive Vales Point coal power station, which was bought for just $1 million from the NSW government in 2015 – has its own links to fossil fuels.
St Baker, for his part, has said that he wants to be known as an “energy powerhouse” instead of a coal baron according to comments made to the Australian Financial Review in May.
To that end, Tritium is looking to list as a public company on the US-based NASDAQ with a $US1.2 billion ($A1.65 billion at today’s rates) by merging with a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company).
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and 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. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.