RACV invests in ultra-rapid EV charging network
An ambitious project to make Australia electric-vehicle friendly just got a major boost.
RACV is investing in electric vehicle network Chargefox to build Australia’s largest ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging system entirely powered by renewable energy.
The full network will be completed by the end of 2019, with 21 charging stations, eight of them in Victoria. Fuelled by large-scale solar and battery installations, they will connect the eastern seaboard from Adelaide to Brisbane, and separately north and south of Perth.
The charging stations can be used by all makes and models of EVs and can add more than 400 kilometres of range in 15 minutes, compared with current stations that can take anywhere from two to eight or more hours.
Research completed last year by RACV highlighted that while 50 per cent of people are willing to consider buying an electric vehicle, purchase cost and access to charging infrastructure remain key barriers and concerns to uptake. In considering different charging infrastructure options, respondents considered public fast charging the most important to their decision to buy an electric vehicle.
RACV public policy and corporate affairs general manager, Bryce Prosser, says it’s important for RACV to invest in emerging technology and infrastructure to ensure members can travel more confidently in their electric vehicles.
“There is a growing market for battery-powered and hybrid vehicles, so charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our members’ journeys in the future.
“One of the major barriers that limits the adoption of electric vehicles is their driving range so this provides access to a quality network which helps to alleviate that anxiety,” he says.
The charging sites are expected to be no more than 200 kilometres apart, which is within the range of today’s EVs, and will be public and accessible to all EV models sold in Australia.
Locations currently on the plan for Victoria are Euroa, Horsham, Ballarat, Melbourne, Traralgon and Barnawartha North.
RACV is investing in Chargefox alongside Australia’s other motoring clubs (NRMA, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT), through its wholly owned Australian Motoring Services (AMS). Chargefox also received funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.