31 May 2024

'A little bit behind for a while there': ACT Government puts pedal to the metal on EV chargers as target date looms

| James Coleman
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EV charger

EV charger launch, ANU. Photo: James Coleman.

The ACT Government is pouring another round of funding into expanding the number of EV chargers across the city after being “a little behind for a while there”, according to ACT Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury.

ActewAGL, BP, ENGIE and Evie will receive $626,275 to install another 39 chargers over the next 12 months “in places they are needed most, near tourist hotspots, shopping centres and high-residential areas”.

Previous EV grants, including the first round of funding, have delivered 39 public EV chargers (with 65 charging bays) across the ACT, with a further 21 chargers expected by the end of the year.

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There are currently 156 public EV charging stations operating in the ACT.

This second round of funding will complete the target of 180 by 2025 and add three more chargers to Belconnen, four to North Canberra, eight to Civic, three to Weston Creek and Molonglo, 18 to South Canberra and three to Woden Valley.

Separately, the Gungahlin Marketplace has recently installed three DC fast chargers in its main car park.

Mr Rattenbury announced the rollout at the official opening of a bank of six new ENGIE chargers at the ANU campus, a first for the inner north.

EV charger

The expanding EV charger network. Photo: James Coleman.

The six spaces are located in a small car park off Repertory Lane, and open to not only ANU staff and students, but also members of the public. Up to this point, the ANU only had one on the other side of the campus near the Ian Ross Building.

Mr Rattenbury said the locations of the new chargers across the ACT have been chosen largely to aid apartment dwellers who, up to now, have been left out of the EV revolution.

“We understand that people who live in apartments and townhouses have extra barriers to installing home chargers, which is why we are prioritising putting public chargers in areas of high-density housing.”

EV chargers

ENGIE ANZ Director of Green Mobility EV Greg Schumann, ACT Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction Shane Rattenbury, ANU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Lachlan Blackhall, and Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) vice-president Jude Burger. Photo: James Coleman.

He said it was important the community has confidence that “they’ll be able to charge when they need it, where they need it, and not find themselves caught short”.

ENGIE ANZ Director of Green Mobility Greg Schumann added EV owners should be able to recharge while going about life.

“That might be at home, it might be at university, it might be at a shopping centre, maybe at a hospital or medical facility – that’s what we see the future for our network being.”

ENGIE manages more than 200 charging bays across Australia, including another bank of six at the Royal Australian Mint in Deakin, which – since it opened in September 2023 – has become “one of the busiest in Australia”.

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As for technology allowing EVs to give back to the grid, that’s a few years away yet for the ACT.

South Australia is the only jurisdiction in Australia to approve what’s called Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charging. Last week, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was added to a list of only two cars capable of V2G charging, the other being the Nissan Leaf.

Only one inverter unit is approved under Australian standards, the Wallbox Quasar 1, which retails for around $10,000.

Over two years, the ACT Government ran a ‘Realising Electric Vehicles to Grid Services (REVS)’ trial in partnership with a number of stakeholders, including ActewAGL, the ANU, JetCharge and Nissan, to assess how it could work here.

Since this concluded in March 2023, an ActewAGL spokesperson told Region there has “been a lot of interest”, but that “there are still multiple pieces of the puzzle that need to come together … and V2G is a few years away from being available in residential developments”.

EV charger

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) chargers are a few years away yet, according to ActewAGL. Photo: James Coleman.

Electricity network operators are also waiting on the Australian Government to update design standards and allow more inverter units like the Wallbox to enter the market.

“This is expected to be finalised this year, after which it is likely that more electricity network operators will allow the connection of V2G/V2H equipment that meets the Australian standard to their network,” the spokesperson said.

A map of public charging stations in the ACT and across Australia is available at Plug Share.

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Robert Blackadder9:06 am 02 Jun 24

Just someting that got attention last week… Behind the Dept of Finance Symonston office they (DoF) installed 2 EV charging stations. I thought that this was a great idea, right up until they stuck a “Department of Finance Private Use Only” sticker on them both! Tax payer funded infrastructure but not for tax payer use. Smells

Keyboard Warrior10:13 pm 01 Jun 24

We can’t afford the Labour and Greens, all these tick box themes while our essential services are failing, schools, roads, waste, policing, hospitals – they never mention these services. Vote them out, I don’t care who gets in this October, I just pray it won’t be another decade of these complacent clowns!

did the ACT Govt providing funding for petrol pumps? If not, why are they spending my money on EV chargers?

Capital Retro10:20 pm 31 May 24

The ACT government should stop trying to pick winners and instead start to consolidate by paying down our massive debt which is costing us about $700M a year in interest alone.

The E dream is over: https://www.news.com.au/technology/motoring/on-the-road/what-the-hell-tesla-renting-shopping-centre-airport-car-parks-as-unsold-evs-pile-up/news-story/bd3632e1ca28af9072dcbe57715e955b

Why should non-EV owners subsidize the others?

Did you manage to read to the end of the first paragraph of that article Capital Retro? It is not a long one. It mentions increasing competition from China, or are you devoted to Teslas?

Capital Retro10:17 pm 01 Jun 24

Teslas are made in China too.

To install a high speed charger is much more than $16k, the payback will be to the charging company, the electricity company (government owned) and to the benefit of lowering Co2 emissions – sounds to me like a good deal for the rate payers.

That’s $16058 per charger. Any idea what the payback will be plus ongoing maintenance costs?

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