Often when we talk about EVs, the question of charging comes up, particularly for those who don’t have garages to house their EV and recharge overnight. Thankfully a new EV Streetside Charging Project is looking to solve this need, with street side power poles to be turned into electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
This is an Australian first trial being rolled out across the Sydney and Hunter regions of NSW. Internationally, we’ve seen this story play out many times before, with the UK offering millions of dollars in on-street charging, back in November 2021.
Tens of thousands of power pole or streetlight EV chargers have been deployed across London, Los Angeles, New York, Hamburg; and Toronto. Other cities such as Seattle, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Berlin are exploring
similar alternatives to increase Electric Vehicle adoption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from private transport.
Eight out of ten existing EV owners charge at home, according to the NRMA, with the remaining relying on their workplace, shopping centres and highway fast chargers. With about 1 in 4 Australian households, or 1.9 million homes lacking off-street parking, on-street charging will certainly be a welcome inclusion.
There will be a total of 50 street-side locations selected for the EV Streetside Charging Project, with each EV charging station to be connected directly to the overhead electricity supply and energy use matched with 100% GreenPower.
There is potential for 190,000 EV chargers that could be connected to street-side power poles across Australia.
Smart metering and data intelligence provider Intellihub will lead the project, which is being delivered by several energy and EV businesses in partnership with local councils.
The project is being supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency with a $871,000 grant. Schneider Electric is providing EV chargers for the project and Origin Energy is providing 100% GreenPower, meaning all the energy used by the EV charges will be matched with the equivalent amount of certified renewable energy added to the grid.
This is a fraction of the estimated value of the EV public charging market in Australia, expected to be about $902 million.
The charging station sites will be nominated by up to 9 local councils taking part in the project.
- Inner West Council
- Singleton Shire Council
- Waverley Council
- Lake Macquarie City Council
- Woollahara Council
- City of Ryde
- Randwick City Council
- Northern Beaches Council
- Parramatta City Council
If you own an EV and are in the area, then best make your voice known, as locations will be based on feedback from residents, expected demand, traffic access, and parking availability.
The chargers to be deployed are the EVLink Smart Wallbox by Schneider Electric. This offers between 7.4kW and 22kW depending on the power configuration. These support a Pay As You Go application where customers could pay with an RFID card.
You can learn more about this process by watching this video from Australian charging provider JET Charge.
Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said the project would help tackle the lack of public access to EV chargers, particularly for the one in four Australian households which do not have off-street parking.
Potential locations for charging stations include areas near apartment buildings and high-density single-dwelling suburban streets, shopping strips, bus or train stations, sporting facilities and hospitals.
EV charging specialist at Withywindle David Anstee said there was potential for 190,000 public street-side EV charging stations across the country.
The trial is also expected to provide safer ways for EV owners without off-street parking to charge their cars. Local councils are receiving regular reports of cars being charged via extension cords strung from homes to cars parked on the street.
Schneider Electric Vice President Power Products & Digital Power Farokh Ghadially said the EV charging technology offered easy-to-use charging facilities for type 1 and 2 electric vehicles.
The customer engagement platform for the project will be provided by EV specialists EVSE and the virtual power plant and distributed energy solutions will be managed by AutoGrid.