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Major Brisbane EV charging hub dumped after flood disaster

Brisbane’s largest electric vehicle public charging hub has been closed indefinitely, with property developer Mirvac confirming Toombul Shopping Centre won’t be restored after being hit by the catastrophic South East Queensland floods in February.

The local shopping mall located north of the city offered 11 public AC and DC chargers in the ‘UPSTAIRS’ and rooftop car parks, including two 350kW ultra rapid and one 50kW fast Chargefox stations as part of the Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH), six 250kW V3 Tesla Superchargers, and a free-of-charge dual 22kW Schneider Electric commercial wallbox.

Henry Man
Image by - Henry Man

A spokesperson for Mirvac, an Australian investment and development conglomerate, told ABC News that it isn’t feasible to restore the 54 year-old centre, which housed 146 local and commercial retail, hospitality and grocery shops employing hundreds of people.

“After taking into account the current and potential future impacts of flooding on the site, it is impractical and undesirable to reinstate the centre to how it was prior to the flooding damage,” it said.

It’s unclear if the 11 chargers would be maintained (though unlikely) with Toombul Shopping Centre gone. Mirvac states it is committed to providing retail in the area, while reports have suggested it’ll be transformed into residential apartments.

Chargefox confirmed to The Driven that its chargers were not damaged in the floods, but access to the rooftop location was cut due to the centre’s damage.

Henry Man
Image by - Henry Man

Toombul Shopping Centre was a significant symbol for the expansion of public EV charging infrastructure in Australia.

It was the third Chargefox location in the nation (and first in Queensland) that debuted the Brisbane-made Tritium ultra rapid PK350 charging station when it opened in 2019, supported by the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ).

This has also left the entire state government funded QESH network without any 350kW ultra rapid chargers.

Additionally, Toombul Shopping Centre housed the first V3 Tesla Superchargers in Queensland, which only opened in June 2021.

It replaced three AC Tesla Wall Connector Destination chargers which had been in operation since 2018.

Henry Man
Image by - Henry Man

Since its closure in February, EV owners who rely on public chargers have needed to use the closest Evie Networks hub in Skygate, Brisbane Airport comprised of four 50kW DC fast chargers, QESH Chargefox station in Hamilton with two 50kW and one 22kW chargers, or four V2 Tesla Superchargers at its showroom in Fortitude Valley capable of 120kW only.

Meanwhile, the closest shopping centre that offers EV charging facilities is the popular Westfield Chermside. However, it is an old 6.6kW AC unit using the rare J1772 North American plug operated by the now decommissioned ChargePoint.

Critically, Brisbane is now missing a 350kW charger, meaning pure-electric models like the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Porsche Taycan will need to use Evie Networks’ Coochin Creek, Beerburrum or Coomera, Gold Coast locations to top-up and utilise the quickest ultra rapid charging capabilities.

Henry Man
Image by - Henry Man

When the Chargefox rooftop ultra rapids first debuted in 2019, Mirvac retail national manager for retail solutions Tim Weale stated, “We’re helping Australia transform from being a global laggard in transport innovation to having only the third ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging network in the world.”

“Our new Toombul station is the next stepping stone on our journey to connect Australia’s major cities for the thousands of drivers using efficient, clean electric vehicles,” he said.

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