Best EV charging networks in Australia
Public electric vehicle charging infrastructure is growing in Australia.
Thanks to investments by state motoring club associations, the federal government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) fund and private organisations, there are already more than 200 AC and DC public charging locations across the nation, according to PlugShare.
These are mostly managed by electric vehicle charging network providers, which facilitate payments, electricity connections, and network expansion and maintenance with the help of manufacturers such as Tritium, ABB and Jet Charge.
But what are the major EV charging providers in Australia (each with their own mobile apps), how much do they cost and what’s in the pipeline as interest in zero-emission cars continues to rise?
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information in this story are correct at the time of publication and subject to change. For the most up-to-date locations and pricing, check the charging provider's mobile app.
📌 No. of locations: ~250+
⏲ Charging speeds: 4kW AC to 350kW DC
💵 Cost: Free to $0.60/kWh
📱Start charging: iOS | Android | RFID card compatible
Chargefox is currently Australia’s largest EV charging networks covering all states except the Northern Territory along the coast from Perth to Port Douglas and Hobart.
Charging fees vary by location, the operator and even time period so check its mobile app for up-to-date pricing. However, Chargefox’s standard fee for topping-up on a 50kW DC fast charger is $0.40/kWh, while a 350kW DC ultra-rapid charger costs $0.60/kWh.
Typically, there’s one to four stalls at each charging hub. The network is run on 100 per cent renewable energy and mostly made up of AC Schneider Electric EVlink and DC Tritium Brisbane-made charging stations, with some ABB and Kempower units.
Chargefox is owned by Australian Motoring Services, which includes the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT. Therefore, all members are eligible for a 20 per cent discount off each fast charging session on its network.
It's the provider for all said state motoring club chargers, the Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH), some local councils, and some private organisations such as shopping centres, supermarkets and universities.
The network provider plans to triple its number of charging plugs to around 5000 by 2025.
📌 No. of locations: ~100+
⏲ Charging speeds: 22kW AC to 350kW DC
💵 Cost: $0.45 to $0.60/kWh
📱Start charging: iOS | Android | RFID card compatible
Recognisable for its ‘blue bird’ logo and bright teal-painted parking spaces, Evie Networks is a fledgeling charging network with a focus on DC fast chargers spread across all states – including being the first DC provider in Darwin.
As standard, it costs $0.45/kWh to juice up on 50kW and 75kW DC fast chargers or $0.60/kWh on 350kW DC ultra-rapid chargers.
There’s usually a cluster of one to four stations available at each Evie charging hub, though two stalls are a more common sight.
The company exclusively uses the Brisbane-born and manufactured Tritium DC charging stalls – all of which run on 100 per cent renewable energy and offer CCS and CHAdeMO charging connectors, the latter for electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf.
Importantly, the Australian company promises that all its electric car charging sites feature 24-hour access, lighting and security.
Evie Networks (under parent Fast Cities Australia) partners with companies including fuel giants Ampol, Puma Energy and Viva Energy (retailer of Shell-branded Coles Express), fast food chains like McDonald’s, Hungry Jacks and Red Rooster, AMP Capital centres, and local councils to install its chargers near amenities.
Currently, it's the second-largest EV charging network in Australia, but aims to triple its reach by installing infrastructure at 200 new locations in 2023.
📌 No. of locations: ~60+
⏲ Charging speeds: 120kW or 250kW DC
💵 Cost: ~$0.50 to $0.69/kWh variable pricing for Teslas; $0.79kWh for non-Tesla EVs without subscription
📱Start charging: Plug and charge for Teslas; iOS | Android for non-Tesla EVs
The Tesla Supercharging network remains mostly exclusive for Tesla electric cars only, but some locations are opening up to all EV models in Australia for a more expensive fee.
The network connects along the coast of all Australian states except Northern Territory and is often mooted as a key selling point to buy a Tesla EV.
Charging fees vary depending on the time, location, and demand. Non-Tesla EVs need to pay a pricier fixed rate, but a monthly subscription is available to reduce costs.
Some busy ‘high-use’ hubs limit top-ups to 80 per cent battery capacity and the company also enforces ‘idling fees’ if the charging session has stopped for more than five minutes – but the vehicle is still plugged-in – at $0.50 per minute if the site is at 50 per cent capacity or more, or $1.00 per minute if fully occupied.
There's anywhere between three to 10 stalls at each Supercharging location – which is proportionate to Tesla's strong popularity in Australia.
The Tesla charging network is composed of its own 120kW 'V2' and 250kW 'V3' Superchargers. Both contain CCS plugs, but the former also offers the proprietary Tesla Connector for older Model S liftback and Model X SUVs.
The American carmaker continues to roll out Superchargers in Australia, with the re-introduction of V3 Superchargers for Brisbane in Indooroopilly last year.
📌 No. of locations: ~15+
⏲ Charging speeds: 75kW DC
💵 Cost: $0.55/kWh
📱Start charging: iOS | Android
The BP Pulse EV charging network has expanded into Australia to directly rival Ampol with several sites already online across Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.
It currently only offers modular Tritium PKM model chargers capable of delivering up to 75kW fast charging speeds priced at $0.55/kWh, but intends to scale up the stations to 150kW in 2023.
While there's only one stall at each site, all chargers can replenish two EVs at the same time (splitting the total power). Some stations have both CCS and CHAdeMO plugs, while others offer two CCS ports for power sharing.
The British company also adopts a traditional fuel station approach at some locations by placing one charging station at each side (northbound and southbound) of a highway rest stop.
BP's charging network will initially offset carbon emissions for every kilowatt-hour outputted by purchasing renewable energy certificates.
The fuel giant plans to install 350kW ultra-rapid stations within the next two years and aims to have a network of around 600 EV chargers set up in Australia (by an undisclosed time).
📌 No. of locations: ~5+
⏲ Charging speeds: 150kW
💵 Cost: $0.69 per kWh
📱Start charging: iOS | Android
Fuel giant Ampol (formerly Caltex) has headed into the battery-electric world with EV charging provider spinoff AmpCharge.
It's rolled out five pilot locations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia at launch and predominantly offer one 150kW DC fast charging station at each site.
The stalls from Swedish company ABB are able juice up two EVs at the same time – using one CCS and one CHAdeMO connector – with two designated charging-only while parking bays.
Additionally, its chargers run off renewable energy or “covered by green certificates” using solar panel and battery storage systems, and, of course, located in its traditional Ampol fuel station forecourts.
With an contribution of around $7 million from Arena to the nearly $27 million project, AmpCharge aims to deliver 120 fast charging stations by October 2023 across Ampol forecourts, depots, terminals and potentially destinations such as shopping centres.
Over time, it plans to offer home and commercial charging products, too.
📌 No. of locations: ~35+
⏲ Charging speeds: 25kW or 50kW DC
💵 Cost: 7kWh free + $0.46/kWh thereafter
📱Start charging: iOS | Android
Jolt is an unique Australian EV charging network provider that displays digital billboard advertisements and transforms electricity distribution boxes into streetside chargers.
Available in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, most Jolt chargers only top out at 25kW DC speeds, which isn't as fast as the more common 50kW chargers in Australia.
But, it offers 7kWh of free charging to all users every 24-hour period – equivalent to around 45km of driving range to cover most daily commutes in Australia.
It’ll incur a fee after 7kWh is outputted and there’s also an overstay charge of $5.00 every 30 minutes if an EV has completed charging, but is still plugged-in.
There’s typically only one Jolt charger at each location with CCS and CHAdeMO plugs available, with other stalls in the vicinity.
The Australian company uses 100 per cent renewable wind and solar energy certified by independent auditor GreenPower.
It plans to expand with more than 5000 Jolt chargers across the nation by 2031. It has also partnered with electricity distribution operator Endeavour Energy to build more than 230 EV chargers in the next three years by converting existing substations in western Sydney.
Other EV charging networks
Tesla Destination chargers
In addition to its DC Supercharging network, Tesla also offers one of the widest slow AC charging networks in Australia installed by local businesses across all states.
The 11kW AC Tesla Wall Connector adopts the common Type 2 connector and can charge any EV model; however, many sites have signs that permit Tesla EVs only.
Melbourne-born EV charging equipment installation company Jet Charge also makes its own stations and are deployed across the nation, including South Australia’s RAA charging network.
Arena has also co-funded nearly $7 million to Engie as part of its $23 million ‘Future Fuels Public Fast Charging’ project to deliver 103 public fast charging stations of at least 100kW across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Engie has also partnered with Vicinity Centres to install EV charging infrastructure at up to 30 of its shopping centres by 2023.
EVUp offers around 55 charging sites across all states in urban and rural regions with AC and a few DC stations tied to businesses and council areas.
Exploren is an emerging AC charging network offering AC wall boxes at shopping centre car parks, markets and motels.
Sydney-based EV charging provider Everty has more than 50 slow AC charging locations. It also allows users to book a charging session at residential, business or public sites.
South African firm E’Langa is starting to grow in Australia with AC and DC chargers on offer in Queensland.
However, be aware that there's a $5.00 one-off registration fee for the online account and charging costs vary depending on the location.
ChargeStar provides a range of AC and DC charging stations scattered around the country, with a particular focus on South Australia and Western Australia.
Notably, it supplies the RAC Electric Highway, Flinders University and a Mirvac apartment development.
Chinese automaker MG is rolling out a destination charging network in regional New South Wales with its 7kW and 11kW AC MG ChargeHubs.
It’ll deploy up to 3000 charging stations at key tourist locations and the wall box is accessible to all EV models using the standard Type 2 connector.
Porsche Centre and Destination Charging
Luxury German automaker Porsche offers more than 50 charging locations across all states, except the Northern Territory.
At select Porsche dealerships, there’s 175kW and 350kW DC ABB-made ultra-rapid stations – which are exclusive to Porsche EV customers. Other ‘premium destinations’ offer 11kW AC Porsche-branded wall boxes and are open for all EV models.
Retired mechanical engineer Jon Edwards crowdfunded the installation of a typical 50kW Tritium charger – but powered by vegetable oil for regional Australia.
Its first site at the Caiguna Roadhouse allows EVs to quickly top up on DC power while crossing the 1100km Nullarbor Plain, and there’s also one at Jurien Bay in Western Australia.
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