Evie Networks is set to roll out an “ultra-fast” electric vehicle (EV) battery charging network along Australia’s highways to help support existing EV owners and drive EV uptake.

According to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) — which is putting $15 million funding towards the $50.2 million project — 42 renewable energy-powered charging stations will be installed at roadside service centres connecting Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane, with destination charging in Far North Queensland, Tasmania and Perth.

Construction has already begun on the network’s first site, north of Brisbane, with up to 24 sites expected to be operational in the first year.

The sites’ 350 kW Tritium chargers will be open to the public, allowing them to charge two cars simultaneously with typical EVs able to travel up to 100 km after a 15-minute charge. Charging plugs are expected to suit all available models, including Tesla with an adaptor, and support new EV models capable of faster charging times.

EV charger locations were determined based on Australian geography, population areas, highways and EV driving ranges.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said having Evie Networks’ fast charging stations across the country will help “increase the supply and adoption of electric vehicles by building the charging infrastructure in key areas along major roads. Reducing range anxiety will encourage EV uptake by giving motorists confidence they can get where they want to go — even on long road trips.”

The new network complements existing and planned charging networks across the country, including the 21 sites supported by ARENA through Chargefox and the two new charging stations unveiled in Canberra yesterday as part of the ACT Government’s move towards a zero emissions fleet.

Canberra’s new charging stations are part of a network of 46 that will be operational in the next few weeks, with more stations to be installed in 2020.

“EVs could play a huge role in the future, allowing renewables to power our cars. This could reduce fossil fuel consumption from transport and reduce the cost of car ownership,” Miller said.

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 6500 petrol stations. This is just the beginning of the infrastructure build-out.”

Extracted from Technology Decisions