The first ever petrol / gas station was invented in the 19th century. As motoring continues its evolution into energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, a century of service stations will begin to fade out slowly as the uptake of electrical powered vehicles is set to rise over the next decade.
“Australians have traditionally been early adopters of new technology, but we’re lagging when it comes to Electrical Vehicles (EVs).” said CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth
, “This research shows that we can increase the uptake of EVs in a way that benefits drivers as well as the environment.”
Model availability, registration fee reductions, procurement targets and fuel efficiency standards will be key drivers for the uptake. The availability of charging infrastructure, while not found to be a driver, is a barrier to EV uptake. “The reality is that the transition to EVs is inevitable.” continues Learmonth, “We’re already seeing vehicle makers confirm they will stop producing pure internal combustion engines over the coming years. At the same time, we’re seeing dramatic improvements in vehicle charging networks, creating the essential infrastructure to support electric vehicles. These measures can deliver a material improvement on our greenhouse gas emissions, as well as take our vehicle fleet into the 21st century.
The first phase of funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) sees $15 million awarded to Evie networks, who are charged with rolling out the the largest ultra fast battery electric vehicle charging network along Australia’s highways. The $50.2 million project will see an intercity highway charging network with 350kW ultra fast chargers located along the ‘National Land Transport Network’ and beyond.
A total of 42 charging sites, all powered by renewable energy, will be installed at roadside service centres connecting Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, plus destination charging in Far North Queensland, Tasmania and Perth. Construction commenced on 26 August on the first site north of Brisbane, with 23 sites to be operational in the first year.
Each of the 42 sites be able to charge two cars concurrently and will enable the typical EV available in Australia to charge 100 kilometres within 15 minutes using Tritium chargers. All sites will be open access with charging plugs suitable for all EV models available, including Tesla with an adaptor. Spacing of sites is designed to align with Australian geography, population areas, highways and to be well within range of even the most affordable EV models.
Evie Networks’ CEO Chris Mills said: “We have estimated that Australia needs around 350 sites to cover all the highways that make up Australia’s National Land Transportation Network. While many consumers will charge at home, they will also need plenty of fast chargers in towns, suburbs and cities. There are currently around 6,500 petrol stations. This is just the beginning of the infrastructure build out.”