If you are an electric vehicle adopter, you will know just how important a charge can be. While most EV drivers predominantly charge at home, the need to do otherwise often arises. As post-fuel powerhouses getting us from point A to B, public EV charging stations offer a welcome solution.
Found within car parks in dining, retail, recreation and entertainment precincts, these power-up portals facilitate topping up on the go. And, as Canberra leads the nation with the highest concentration of charging stations, accessibility for EV drivers is set to grow.
Indeed, at the time of publication (2023), the region is touted to welcome over seventy new stations by year end. And, under the National Electric Vehicle Strategy this number is set to rise to 180 stations by 2025.
Until then, the hardest thing about amping up away from home is knowing where to start. If you are looking for a charging solution away from home fear not. Here is our pick of the best public EV charging stations in Canberra.
What makes a great EV charging station?
A great EV charging station does exactly what it is designed to do; get you back on the road quickly. If you’re considering charging away from home the following may help:
- Convenient. While 8 out of 10 EV drivers globally tend to charge at home, a public top may be required from time to time. In these instances, often the most pressing matter is that of convenience. When thinking about convenience, numerous factors beyond simply distance come into play. Things like operating hours, ease of access, and security are all worth considering. Equally, a stations proximity to nearby facilities like restrooms, shopping, and dining, help to ensure productivity during charging.
- Compatible. Before making a bee line to your nearest charging station ensure to check for compatibility. Unlike a privately installed residential charger, public stations have not been designed with your exact vehicle in mind. Hence, plug compatibility may be an issue. To save the headache, check out one of the many wonderful online references, such as PlugShare.
- Swift. If you like, most of us, desire a quick charge, your best bet is to seek a seek a station that does so swiftly. Naturally, a fast or ultra-fast charge station will do the trick, expediting charge times significantly. When these are too far away to be practical, consider alternative options. Charing stations with greater vehicle capacity or those that are a little quieter may offer just the right solution.
- Well maintained. A well-maintained EV charging station is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also likely to be functional as well. Much like any other service station, prioritise those that are clean and fully operational.
- Payment. The final thought goes to payment. While there may be a handful of complimentary public charge stations, they are likely to be few and far between. Many current stations operate on a cost per kWh basis, and in some instances require a minimum spend to access. As such, consider your budget and shop around accordingly.
The best EV charging stations in Canberra
Riotact’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Riotact and maintain a minimum average of 4/5 stars on both Google and Facebook reviews.
Positioned at 30 Darling Street, this 4-point 22kW type 2 EV charging station is situated within a free parking space. With several local businesses in nearby proximity there are plenty of things to keep you busy while your EV charges.
Located at 6 Burbury Close near Hotel Realm in Barton, this 2-point 50kW charging station offers CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE plugs. With pull in parking that is free on weekends, and after 4:30pm weekdays, it is situated nearby hotel lodgings, restrooms, restaurants and more.
Bodo Billerbeck had this to say on Google, “Two chargers, both functioning while I was visiting. The only charging station that I used while in Canberra. Quite popular so might not be available at all times…. I think it might be the only "fast" charger around, other than Tesla chargers.”
Located by the John McGrath dealership with entry from Hindmarsh Drive, this 2-point 120kW charging station offers CCS/SAE plugs. Open 24/7 and under the cover of a purpose-built awning, it adjoins the dealership with easy access to a large shopping centre full of amenities across the road.
Located at 3 Edmonstone Place within level 3 of the multistorey paid car park, this 2-point 22kW station offers type 2 chargers. Secure and illuminated it is accessible around the clock and near restrooms, dining, and lodging.
Spread out across four levels of the Wilson car park are 12 type 2 charging points, 4 located on each level. Open weekdays only from 5:30am to 8:00pm, the charging stations may also be accessed round the clock for monthly pass holders. Well-lit and secure within paid parking it is a popular choice.
To install a charger at home, check out our pick of the best EV charger installers the region has to offer. And, to expand your EV collection check out our articles on the best electric skateboard shops and the best electric scooter shops in Canberra.
Your experience with EV charging stations in Canberra
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the public EV charging stations listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can public EV charging stations typically be found?
Currently, many public EV charging stations can be found in designated charging zones across the region’s car parks. For the most part, these are typically comprised of a single charging station servicing two car spots. In the case of fast and ultra-fast stations, the number of bays and chargers increases. Typical locations include shopping centres, hotels, restaurants, sporting and recreational facilities, clubs, and of course automotive retailers.
How do electric charging stations work?
Once your EV is parked, simply insert the supplied plug - or your own if required – into the vehicle’s charging port and let it charge. Most stations make an engaging noise to signify that it is working, and if payment is required this will generally be requested prior to use. For further information refer to the instructions on the charging station.
Can I use any public EV charging station?
Generally, provided you have a compatible port on your electric car, you should be able to charge at any public station. Do note however, that ports vary from one charging station to another, so be sure to check for compatibility beforehand.
How much does it cost to charge my EV at a public station?
The cost really varies from station to station. Some charge by the kWh, some by time, others have minimum spends, and a few may even be free. Many fast public charging stations cost between 40 cents to upwards of 80 cents per kWh.
How long will it take to charge my EV at a public station?
Charge times usually depend on the nature of the charge and the vehicle and its capabilities. Some EVs can charge to 80% in as little as 15 minutes, while others will require between 30 to 40 minutes or more.