Today was forecast to be one of the worst fire days for the east coast of Australia (where most of the population lives). In a really nice gesture by EV charging network Chargefox, they’ve made 150 of their charging stations free to use for 48 hours.
This means today and tomorrow you can charge any CCS2 or CHAdeMO compatible electric vehicles (most EVs on Australian roads) can safely charge and get away from fires without worrying about the cost to do so. This free charging applies to those in NSW and QLD.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this from a charging network provider, with Tesla often doing the same for natural disaster areas in the US.
Can you imagine a petrol company making fuel free? No of course not, in times of peak demand, fuel actually goes up in price. So why are charging networks offering electronics for free?
Electric Vehicles are still new, accounting for a relatively small percentage of the overall transport sector. This means the cost of making this nice gesture is fairly cheap (at least for now). Costs aside, if your family is evacuated, or worse, loses your home in bushfires, the last thing you want to be worried about is the costs of getting your family to safety.
Many of the chargers offered by Chargefox are Ultra-rapid which means they can supply power to the car at a rate of up to 350kW, depending on the vehicle’s capabilities. In the event of an emergency, the time taken to recharge goes from a mild inconvenience to potentially an issue of life or death.
If you’re in the path of a fire, leave early and forget about charging overnight, head to the nearest ultra-fast charger and charge it as fast as possible. With around 30 minutes of charging, you should have hundreds of kilometres of range to escape the situation. With a little bit of planning and by executing your fire plan early, owning an EV doesn’t have to be more dangerous.