Electric car charging stations are increasing in numbers across Australia as more and more locations roll out, though it can often be difficult to find your nearest charger, even if you’ve been on the road in an EV for a while.

If you’ve been curious about electric vehicle charging in Australia, we’ve got the answers to your questions below.

Every electric car charging station in Australia

Below you’ll find every electric car charger in Australia, condensed into one easy-to-use dynamic map, powered through Plugshare.com and Google Maps. This is a user-generated map that dots out all the charging stations in Australia, so if the map is missing a charger, you can go right ahead and add it in yourself. Plugshare’s community is made up of dedicated EV drivers, and right now it’s one of the best resources on EV charging locations.

You’ll notice we haven’t put every electric car charging station in Australia into one big list. That’s because it would be an enormous list and, frankly, charging stations are currently in an awkward position in Australia where there are too many to list but not enough to generally say, “There’s one nearby”.

This will definitely change over the next decade, with companies like Ampol flicking on chargers, and especially with government support.

What are the different types of electric vehicle charging ports?

The below image is from Zap Map, detailing the differences between commonly available EV chargers.

In Australia, you’re most likely to come across CCS and Type 2 chargers, and on some Japanese vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, you’ll find a CHAdeMO port. Tesla’s proprietary NACS charger isn’t used in Australia.

Can any EV use any EV charging station?

As a general rule, as long as you’ve got a compatible port on your electric car, you should be able to get a charge from a public charging station. However, know that this can vary from charging station to charging station. At the moment in Australia, Tesla vehicles are able to use any Type 2 charging station, but non-Tesla EVs can only use select Tesla charging stations across Australia.

Where are electric car charging stations typically?

You’ll typically find an electric car charging station beside the road at a designated charging bay or in designated charging areas in car parks. You’ll also typically, as an electric car owner, have a charging cable at home.

In the future, it’s likely EV charging stations will operate somewhat like modern petrol stations, but we’re just not there yet. At the moment, most public EV chargers are comprised of two car parks and a single charging station.

Do electric car charging stations cost money?

It varies from station to station. Some designated EV charging locations will have you spend $10 for a single recharge, while most established fast chargers are priced by the kWh, whereas others have you pay for the time you use the station. Some are also free, but it’s unlikely to stay that way forever.

To give you an idea of how much fast chargers typically cost across Australia, we’ve included the pricing structures of three of the most common charging networks below. Note that the prices below are subject to change.

  • Tesla superchargers cost 69c per kWh to charge with. Although destination chargers have long been free, you may have to pay to use them in the future. Additionally, at select charging locations with non-Tesla charging activated, non-Tesla customers need to pay 85c per kWh, or 70c per kWh with a $10 per month membership
  • Evie chargers cost 73c per kWh when using a 350kW charger, 68c per kWh when using a 150kW charger, and 58c per kWh when using a 50kW charger. Pricing may differ depending on the station, and prices were increased in January 2024
  • NRMA chargers went pay-to-use from November. Chargers up to 150kW speeds cost 54 cents per kWh to use, and 59 cents per kWh for chargers above 175kWh speeds. NRMA members save 10 per cent on charging costs
  • Jolt chargers cost between 46c per kWh depending on the charging station, although users get 7kWh free per day
  • Ampol EV chargers cost 69c per kWh
  • Chargefox EV chargers cost 60c per kWh on 350kW chargers, and 45c per kWh on 50kW stations, though RACV members save 20 per cent.

This is a snapshot of EV charging station costs from some of the larger networks, but you can find more on the Electric Vehicle Council website.

How do electric car charging stations work?

Once you’ve parked your EV at the station, you simply insert the provided plug (or your own provided plug, if necessary) into the charging port of your car and let it charge up.

It’ll usually make an engaging noise to notify you it’s working, and if you have to pay, you’ll typically have to do so before using the machine. Refer to the charging machine and follow the instructions as present – most of the time, in my experience, you’ll need to use the manufacturer’s proprietary app to pay and begin charging, though Teslas will begin charging immediately when plugged in.

Once you start to surpass higher battery percentages (such as 80 per cent and 90 per cent) the charging will get slower, but eventually, it will top up completely. It’s often recommended to not 100 per cent charge the battery of your EV to save battery life. It’s also recommended to be courteous of other EV drivers and not take too much time.

How long do EVs take to charge?

It depends on the power supplied and the technology of the electric car. Some chargers are able to provide faster charging speeds (such as 350kW) while some EVs are capable of receiving these faster speeds.

Chargers in the home can take dozens of hours (depending on how low your battery is and the charging speed provided), whereas established chargers available to the public can take between 30 minutes and several hours for a full charge. It’s an area where petrol cars have an obvious advantage, however, technology is improving over time.

As someone who has charged a lot of EVs in public, I’m usually charging the car for between 20 and 40 minutes, just to get the battery above 80 per cent. I typically rely mostly on charging with a wall plug at my destination, such as my dad’s house or the holiday park I’m staying at, which is why I don’t bother charging up all the way at a public charger.

EV manufacturers, such as Tesla and Polestar, often sell EV chargers on their websites, in case you’re after a faster charger or a backup.

How far can an EV travel?

Electric cars vary greatly in terms of range. While the cheapest Nissan Leaf can travel about 270km without depleting its battery, the 2024 Polestar 2 Long Range Single Motor can reach about 655km.

If you’re thinking of travelling over long distances, it’s best to know the limits of your car and the location of any electric car charging stations along the way.

Extracted in full from:  https://gizmodo.com.au/2024/01/electric-car-charging-stations/

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