ARENA funds pole position for EV charging

Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Friday, 02 September, 2022

ARENA funds pole position for EV charging

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced funding for Intellihub; $871,000 will be used to install 50 electric vehicle chargers on street-side power poles in New South Wales as a trial that could potentially result in wider adoption of EVs.

The chargers will be installed across nine local government areas to cater for EV owners who live in apartments, townhouses or units that do not have access to EV charging on-site.

The $2.04 million project is supported by Schneider Electric, which is providing the infrastructure, and EVSE, which will manage the service.

Origin Energy will supply 100% GreenPower, meaning all of the energy required to charge the vehicles will be matched with the equivalent amount of certified renewable energy added to the grid.

The nine local councils taking part in the project include Waverley, Woollahra, Randwick, Lake Macquarie, Ryde, Singleton, Parramatta, Northern Beaches and Inner West.

One of the aims of the trial is to highlight that there are no regulatory barriers to using existing infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. It also seeks to understand the impact of these chargers on the wider electricity network.

If the trial proves to be a success, Intellihub will provide the service in a wider rollout on a commercial basis.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said power pole charging could be an ideal way to increase access to public EV charging.

“Not all electric vehicle owners have the ability to charge their vehicle at home, which is why we’re excited to partner with Intellihub on this trial that utilises street side power poles, providing a great opportunity to pair with EV charging,” Miller said.

“We look forward to seeing the results of the trial from Intellihub and hope to see it rolled out right across Australia.”

Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said: “It’s expected that as many as 10% of new car sales in Australia will be electric vehicles by 2025. That equates to an extra 120,000 new EVs on our local streets each year. It’s likely that many of these car owners may be unable to charge their EVs from home.

“Power poles line most of our public streets and that presents an opportunity for the EV charging market. They’re an accessible, safe and practical option for EV charging.”

Image credit: Intellihub

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