The NSW government is planning to co-fund the construction of more than 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the state over the next four years.
The news comes after sales data was published by the Electric Vehicle Council, showing that EV ownership nationwide tripled in 2021 compared to 2020, almost making up 2 per cent of new car sales. The Electric Vehicle Council supports the initiative.
Here’s how the NSW fast charging plan works. The NSW government will pay for up to 50 per cent of the construction costs for more than 1,000 fast-charging stations across key travel routes in NSW, with companies able to submit applications for funding assistance. The NSW government wants Sydney commuters to be no further than a five-minute drive from a fast-charging station.
“This is expected to unlock around $160 million in private investment under our plan to build the biggest electric vehicle charging network in Australia,” says Minister Matt Kean, the NSW Treasurer.
“Construction is expected to start in the second half of 2022 with construction of all charging stations approved in this first round to be completed within two years. Drivers can put range anxiety in the rearview mirror.
“EVs will play a critical role in halving our emissions by 2030.”
Today’s news is a follow-up to the state government’s master plan for electric vehicles, in which 1,000 ultra-fast chargers would be built across the state. This map below was provided back in June, demonstrating where it’d be ideal for ultra-fast chargers to be placed.
In my review of the Polestar 2, I noted that, despite the long-range of the vehicle, I was still feeling range anxiety between Sydney and Port Macquarie, across the NSW coast.
What I didn’t add in that review was that one of the fast chargers I used on my trip included identical ultra-fast specs to those the state government wants to roll out.
Typically, fast chargers across Sydney and Newcastle offer 50kW charging power, although these new ultra-fast charging stations are capable of 350kW. This is supposedly powerful enough to charge to optimal range in under 10 minutes (supposedly 350 kilometres in 10 minutes), Kean said in September. In 10 minutes, I managed to charge about 4 to 5 per cent, with the fast charger operating at 32kW.
The one I encountered was at a Taree service centre south of Port Macquarie as a part of the Evie network. I didn’t notice greater speeds than the 50kW charger, although I can imagine this changing for future vehicles.
Back to this initiative, it’s another goal set by the NSW government to focus on electric cars. The state government supports electric vehicles through other means, like through $3,000 rebates for EVs under $69,000 and abolishing stamp duty for EVs under $78,000.
It’s expected that the ultra-fast charging initiative will cost the government $171 million over four years, with companies able to apply for funding after being assessed for eligibility and merit. The state government also noted that this program could be repeated over the next four years.
The first sites for the construction of these ultra-fast chargers will be announced during mid-2022, with early applications to be finalised in April.