A Heathcote service station has been selected to be part of a network of ultra-fast electric vehicle charging stations on highways around Australia.

Motorists are told it will take 10-15 minutes to charge a vehicle to a sufficient level to travel 100 kilometres.

A development application (DA), lodged on behalf of Evie Networks, seeks to install two 350kW ultra-fast charging heads and associated infrastructure at the Woolworths Caltex outlet on the south-bound side of Princes Highway, Heathcote.

In August this year, the company was awarded $15 million by the federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency to support the project.

Forty-two charging sites, all powered by renewable energy, will be installed at roadside service centres connecting Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

Charging stations at specific destinations will be established in Far North Queensland, Tasmania and Perth.

The aim is for 23 sites to be operational in the first year.

“Each site will 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,” a federal government statement said.

“All sites will be open access with charging plugs suitable for all EV models available, including Tesla with an adapter.

“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.”

The DA said, at present, electric vehicles were being charged at home, workplaces and destination points.

“The missing element is ultra-fast, inter-city highway charging, so that drivers can fill-up on the go and without delay, and have an equivalent experience to refuelling a conventional motor car,” the DA said.

“Ultra-fast charge points will operate at 350kW and take around 10 minutes to charge a vehicle to a sufficient level.”

The DA said Australia was “on the cusp of a transportation revolution, with electric vehicles, car sharing and autonomous vehicles bringing benefits in terms of productivity, jobs, balance of trade, energy security, health and emissions”.

“Drivers are about to benefit from the introduction of fast, fun and convenient electric vehicles (with lower fuel and running costs) as major auto manufacturers bring more models to Australia.

“As the price of Lithium ion batteries falls, the price of these vehicles will fall to equivalent levels to petrol and diesel vehicles.

“Australia’s current charging network is slow, patchy and unplanned, and despite conservative projections estimating between 40,000 and 140,000 electrical vehicles in Australia by 2025, we are yet to establish a clear framework for meeting the charging demand for those vehicles.

“Evie Networks’ ultra-fast charging network will form an integral part of the plan to help meet the demand.”

Extracted from The Leader