From today, RACV alongside motoring clubs across Australia (NRMA, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT), through its wholly owned Australian Motoring Services (AMS), has invested in Chargefox to build ultra-rapid electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at 21 locations around Australia.
When completed this network built by Chargefox, which also received $6m in funding from ARENA, will be Australia’s largest ultra-rapid charging system entirely powered by renewable energy. The network will connect the Eastern Seaboard with the first of the stations opening in Euroa, Victoria, in late October which will include large scale solar and battery installation.
Locations currently on the plan for Victoria are Euroa, Horsham, Ballarat, Melbourne, Traralgon and Barnawartha North are expected to be up and running by the end of 2019.
The charging stations can be used by all makes and models of EVs and can add over 400km of range to an electric vehicle in 15 minutes. Compared to current stations available in Australia which can take anywhere from two to eight or more hours depending on the variety.
Research completed last year by RACV highlighted that while 50 per cent of people are willing to consider purchasing 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 purchase an electric vehicle.
RACV Public Policy and Corporate Affairs General Manager, Bryce Prosser, said, 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 trend in the market of battery-powered and hybrid vehicles, so charging will undoubtedly become an important part of our members’ journeys in the future. This investment and partnership alongside the motoring Clubs across Australia provides people an extensive and trusted ultra-rapid charging network.
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 said.
Chargefox CEO, Marty Andrews, said the full network would be completed by the end of next year with a total of eight locations planned for Victoria.
“We’re pleased to work alongside RACV and motoring Clubs around Australia to deliver a network of ultrarapid charging stations which connects the Eastern seaboard. The Euroa and Barnawartha sites will connect to Gundagai and Goulburn to enable travel between Melbourne and Sydney.
These locations were identified because they link common travel points along the popular driving routes,” he said.