Public electric vehicle charging infrastructure is rapidly growing in Australia.
Thanks to investments by state motoring associations, the government’s independent Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) fund and private organisations and institutions, there are already more than 300 AC and DC public charging locations across the nation.
These are managed by electric vehicle charging network providers which control payments, software and the expansion of its network with partners. In most cases, it’s the responsibility of the property owner to maintain and repair EV charging equipment via installers like Jet Charge and Tritium.
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 expansion pipeline as interest in zero emission cars continues to rise?
Chargefox is currently Australia’s largest EV charging networks covering all states except the Northern Territory along the coast from Perth to Port Douglas, Hobart, and also stretches into New Zealand.
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 or DC Tritium Brisbane-made charging station models.
Chargefox is now owned by Australian Motoring Services comprised of the NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT.
Therefore, it is the provider for all state motoring club chargers, the Queensland Electric Super Highway (QESH), local councils, and private organisations like shopping centres, universities and some car dealers.
The network provider plans to triple its number of charging plugs to around 5000 by 2025. A nearly $4 million investment, $1.4 million of which comes from ARENA, will deliver 16 DC stations of at least 100kW across Adelaide and Perth and at least two designated EV parking spots.
Most notable for its ‘blue bird’ logo and bright teal painted parking spaces, Evie Networks is a fledgeling DC-only charging provider that has stations in Australia’s three eastern states, plus some in South Australia and Tasmania.
As standard, it costs $0.40/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 (although few sites have an AC wall box), including the Veefil RT50, RTM50, RTM75 and PK350 models – all of which run on 100 per cent renewable energy and offer CCS charging connectors (CHAdeMO is limited to the former three).
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) is backed by the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund and ARENA. It partners with companies including fuel giants Ampol, Puma Energy and Viva Energy (retailer of Shell-branded Coles Express), fast food chains like McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks, AMP Capital centres, and local councils to install its chargers near convenient amenities.
It’s currently rolling out chargers in every Australian capital city – with 42 ultra rapid stations linking each – as part of the aim to have more than 300 new fast chargers (at least two per site) nationwide.
Tesla Supercharger Network
📌 No. of locations: ~50
⏲ Charging speeds: 120kW to 250kW DC
💲 Cost: $0.68/kWh to $0.69/kWh
Available exclusively for Tesla electric models only, the Tesla Supercharging network – which connects along the coast of all Australian states except Northern Territory – is often mooted as a key selling point to buy into the brand. We’ve detailed whether this holds true in Australia here.
Charging fees depend on the location, with some busy ‘high-use’ hubs limiting top-ups to 80 per cent battery capacity. The American carmaker also enforces ‘idling fees’ if the charging session has stopped but the vehicle is still plugged-in at $0.50 per minute or $1.00 per minute if the site is 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 chagring 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 sedan and Model X SUVs.
The electric carmaker is set to introduce 18 new V3 sites to its five existing states by 2023, including the re-introduction of V3 Superchargers for Brisbane in Indooroopilly.
Meanwhile, Tesla is also trialling opening Supercharger access to all EV models overseas that use the standard CCS2 port. It's unclear whether it'll eventuate in Australia.
Jolt is an unique Australian EV charging networkprovider that discreetly embeds its chargers in urban streets, transforms green electricity boxes from distributor Ausgrid and displays commercial advertisements. It’s currently available in Sydney and Adelaide.
By generating revenue from digital billboard advertisements as part of its chargers (dubbed ‘Out-of-Home’ network), it offers all users 7kWh of free energy every 24 hours or around 45km of driving range to cover most daily commutes in Australia.
It’ll incur a charging fee afterwards and there’s also an overstay charge of $5 every 30 minutes an EV is plugged-in but has completed or stopped charging.
It’s worth noting that its chargers only tops up at a maximum of 25kW DC, not the more common 50kW speeds in Australia. It does use 100 per cent renewable wind and solar energy certified by independent auditor GreenPower.
Thanks to a $100 million investment from American firm BlackRock, it plans to expand with more than 5000 Jolt chargers across the nation between 2026 and 2031. It has also partnered with electricity distribution operator Endeavour Energy to build more than 230 EV chargers by transforming existing substations in western Sydney within the next three years and more than 1000 in a decade.
📌 No. of locations: ~5+
⏲ Charging speeds: 150kW
💲 Cost: 0.69 per kWh
Fuel giant Ampol (formerly Caltex) is heading into the battery-electric world with EV charging provider spinoff AmpCharge. At launch, it's rolled out five pilot locations at Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
The first few AmpCharge sites will predominantly offer one 150kW DC fast charging station that’s able juice up two EVs at the same time – using one CCS and CHAdeMO connector – with two designated parking bays. That’s except Ampol’s Altona North station in Victoria which will have two 150kW DC stations and four EV bays.
Using ABB stalls, it's be capable of up to 150kW DC – which is rare in Australia. This means owners of electric cars like the MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona Electric and Polestar 2 won’t need to deliberately use a 350kW ultra rapid charger to utilise their maximum onboard DC charging capabilities.
Additionally, its chargers run off renewable energy or “covered by green certificates” using solar panel and battery storage systems.
With an injection of around $7 million from ARENA contributing to the nearly $27 million project, AmpCharge will deliver 120 fast charging stations by October 2023 across Ampol forecourts, depots, terminals and potentially destinations like shopping centres. Over time, it plans to offer home and commercial charging products, too.
South African firm E’Langa is starting to grow in Australia with a few sites emerging in Queensland. Although its mobile app displays six available EV charging stations across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Maleny, an ABC News report claimed it already has 100 sites online.
The company charges a $5 one-off registration fee and charging costs vary depending on the location.
In Brisbane, E’Langa clusters two AC and DC chargers that can power share with five designated EV parking spots. In Maleny, south west of the Sunshine Coast, it only has one AC charger at each location.
It offers a mix of Type 2 AC and CCS or CHAdeMO DC units using Elinta or Circontrol models capable of up to 50kW. Uniquely, the latter charging stall is also capable of up to 43kW AC charging – which mostly benefits models like the defunct Renault Zoe (which lacked DC charging capabilities) and Porsche Taycan with its optional 22kW onboard AC charger.
It’s unclear what E’Langa’s future plans are, but has hinted at bringing its EV charging super hub to fruition Down Under.
Other EV charging network providers
UPDATE 27/6/22: We’ve added more AC public charging providers to this story.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Information in this story is correct at the time of publication and subject to change.
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