During my recent experience with a Hertz Polestar 2 electric hire car in and around Melbourne it was clear that there needs to be a lot more public electric car charging sites to give buyers the confidence they can charge whenever and wherever they need to with no inconvenience.
Tesla has done a great job building out a network for owners of their cars, but for the moment, most of these charging stations are exclusive to Tesla owners/hirers.
Thankfully many different companies are setting up electric car charging stations across the country, with a lot of the work being done by early movers Chargefox and Evie, both of which I used during my trip.
Some of these charging stations are funded directly by the charging companies but are often co-funded by state and federal government grants. Interestingly Chargefox was recently purchased by a consortium of Australia’s motoring associations (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAA, RAC and RACT). Members of these car clubs are eligible for a 20% discount at some Chargefox locations.
Unsurprisingly petrol station owners like BP Pulse (working with Evie initially) and Ampol AmpCharge (also working with Evie initially) are now also joining in and announcing plans to install charging stations on their existing fossil fuel sites.
I used a petrol station co-located charger at the Evie site at Shell Coles Express Taylors Lake. It felt like being part of the future charging up my Polestar 2 with clean renewable electricity while the petrol and diesel car owners a few metres away refuelled their vehicles.
Some of the planned rollouts in different States during the next few years are shown below:
With the additional charging networks throughout Australia, the confidence of EV owners to be able to travel effectively will grow. Perhaps now, the governments will start to provide better incentives and reduce the barriers to entry into the market.