Wednesday, 10 October 2018 12:15

Milestone electric vehicle charging site installation for Australia

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Milestone electric vehicle charging site installation for Australia Photo by thesomeday1234 freedigitalphotos.net

Australia has hit a milestone in the drive towards future use of electric vehicles with the installation and operation of the 50th publicly-available 50kW DC Fast Charging location in the Hunter Valley Gardens, Pokolbin.

The milestone installation comes during a Senate inquiry into the use and manufacture of electric vehicles in Australia, with a report expected in December this year from the Select Committee for Electric Vehicles.

Brisbane-founded company Tritium’s Veefil-RT 50kW DC Fast Chargers were installed by the NRMA at Pokolbin as part of its $10m electric vehicle fast charging network rollout.

The NRMA's electric vehicle network rollout is expected to be completed in 2019 and aims to install approximately 40 DC Fast Chargers across NSW and the ACT.

The charger at the Hunter Valley Gardens is the fourth in the proposed rollout, and among the 50 charging locations are the 18 deployed for the Queensland Electric Super Highway, the world's longest electric super highway in a single state which allows tourists to travel from Coolangatta to Cairns and from Brisbane to Toowoomba in a low or zero emissions vehicle.

"It's been proven time and time again across the globe that when the charging infrastructure is in place for electric vehicles, you'll see an uptick in the number of EVs on the road and in showrooms," said Chris Hewitt, head of sales for Australia at Tritium, a provider of fast-charging station technology.

"We now have a significant number of publicly-available chargers across the country with more to come."

"Tritium's success is a timely reminder that we have the smarts and skilled labour force here in Australia to be an advanced manufacturing powerhouse," said Senator Tim Storer, chair of the Select Committee on Electric Vehicles.

"Imagine what they could achieve if we had a national strategy to support the development of the EV industry here in Australia. I hope my inquiry will prompt the Federal Government to be more proactive, so that companies like Tritium can more fully realise the benefits on the electric vehicle transition."

"While hitting this milestone is a great achievement, the country still has a long way to go with the need for hundreds of new DC charging locations," Hewitt said.

"Federal Government support and incentives would certainly help further drive electric vehicle penetration into the Australian market, but industry and local governments across Australia aren't prepared to wait for it.

"They see the tangible benefits electric vehicles bring to the environment and to trade, and they've been overwhelming in their enthusiasm to roll out the necessary infrastructure."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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