Petrol stations wanting to install electric vehicle chargers are being slugged thousands of dollars to upgrade their connections to the energy grid.

The federal government is also being urged to ensure more fast chargers are installed across the country amid concerns slow chargers are being favoured because they are more cost effective.

Labor promised at the May election to build a national EV charging network.

Australasian Convenience & Petroleum Marketers Association CEO Mark McKenzie said service stations were an ideal environment to put EV charging stations.

But the charge needed to be as “convenient as fuel” – or 150kW and above – with a 15 minute charge giving people between 150km to 250km in driving range.

“They are proving incredibly expensive. And the reason they’re expensive is because the grid is not suitable to accommodate that charging.”

He said some regional independent service stations were not getting much change out of $400,000 to install chargers, with up to $300,000 of that going to the grid operators so they can get enough power.

One solution proposed by industry is to install solar cells connected to a battery to upgrade the power supply to fast chargers.

Petrol stations could be slugged thousands of dollars to install electric vehicle chargers. Picture: iStock

Goldstein MP Zoe Daniel is also pushing for changes about how the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) administers the Future Fuels Fund saying its not the best use of taxpayers money.

She said the criteria for grants under ARENA’s Future Fuels Fund encourage more, but slower chargers, adding drivers were reluctant to use them because they take too long.

Ms Daniel said this had the unintended consequence of discouraging rather than encouraging take up of EVs.

“We need to fix this. We need to encourage fewer, but higher speed chargers,” Ms Daniel said.

MP Zoe Daniel says drivers are reluctant to use slower chargers. Picture: Gary Ramage

The cost is in the range of $240-260k which should be split 50/50 between the operator and ARENA’s Future Fuels Fund as well as removing the cost of around $400k to upgrade the connection to the grid.”

Ms Daniel will on Friday address the inaugural National Electrical Vehicle Summit in Canberra.

She said although it might seem like a small thing, the absence of a national standard for the plugs used to charge EVs was a “severe roadblock” to Australia making up for lost time.

“If the car industry doesn’t resolve this, Australian motorists won’t have access to the broad range of EVs, especially more affordable vehicles.”

Ms Daniel said she would put pressure on Energy Minister Chris Bowen to instruct the Australian Energy Market Commission make the changes required to standardise EV charging.

Mr Bowen did not respond to questions about whether the government would consider standardising EV plugs, or making changes to the way ARENA administers the Future Fuels Fund.

Extracted in full form: Zoe Daniel calls out ‘severe roadblock’ to affordable electric vehicles | Herald Sun