Today, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), on behalf of the Australian Government, has announced $24.55 million in funding to five applicants across 19 projects to expand Australia’s fast charging network for battery electric vehicles (EVs), in Round 1 of the Government’s Future Fuels Fund.
Under the deal, we will see 403 new fast charging stations, from 5 electric charging network providers.
The successful applicants are:
- Evie Networks: ARENA will provide $8.85 million to Fast Cities Australia Pty Ltd (Evie Networks) for the delivery of 158 public fast charging stations across eight regions.
- Ampol: ARENA will provide $7.05 million to Ampol Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd (Ampol) for the delivery of 121 public fast charging stations across four regions.
- Engie: ARENA will provide $6.85 million to IPAH Client Solutions Australia Pty Ltd (Engie) for the delivery of 103 public fast charging stations across four regions.
- Chargefox: ARENA will provide $1.4 million to Chargefox Pty Ltd (Chargefox) for the delivery of 16 public fast charging stations across two regions.
- Electric Highways Tasmania: ARENA will provide $0.4 million to Electric Highways Tasmania Pty Ltd (EHT) for the delivery of 5 public fast charging stations across one region.
Each of which will be capable of charging at least two vehicles concurrently at 50 kW or above (we hope closer to the 350kW).
Charging stations will be built across eight geographic regions covering 14 of Australia’s most populous cities. In addition to networks in the capital cities in every state and territory, regional centres including Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Sunshine Coast will each receive a minimum of eight new fast charging stations to drive the uptake of EVs in regional locations.
The Future Fuels Fund is a $71.9 million initiative announced in the 2020-21 federal budget to remove barriers to the uptake of new vehicle technologies. Round 1 aims to support the growing number of Australian motorists with EVs with a charging network across regional and capital cities, while subsequent rounds will focus on increasing EV charging capacity in regional areas, reducing barriers to transitioning business fleets and increasing the use of hydrogen and biofuels in the transport sector.
“As the costs of electric vehicles come down, more consumers and fleet users are looking to go electric. Expanding the fast charging network will make it easier than ever to drive an EV in Australia,” he said.
“The proposals we received were of such high quality, we were compelled to increase the funding. We’re delighted to be able to support more than 400 charging stations across the country.”ARENA CEO Darren Miller
This is a really positive step forward for electric vehicles in Australia, addressing one of the biggest questions from potential EV owners, around charging options. The Federal Government often gets criticised for their lack of an EV strategy and while movement in the incentive space would be assistive to EV adoption, it is positive to see continued investment in charging infrastructure.