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ARENA - EV charging treasure trove


Active Member
Jul 1, 2017
In some idle moments yesterday I stumbled across the ARENA knowledge bank and found a bunch of reports lodged by various EV charging grant recipients. Some interesting stuff in there. The landing page is:

Some highlights I found:

Ampol “Addressing Black Spots Fast Charging Program: Lessons Learnt” Report October 2022
  • EV charging utilisation was more than 3 times higher than what they forecasted, but only 39% of the utilisation level required for economic “breakeven”. This is the first time I have seen a data point that confirms my suspicion that none of these networks are making money yet.
  • Cars with a CHAdeMO fast charging port are 17% of the BEV fleet but only 2% of new sales in 2022. Only 4.4% of sessions on the AMPcharge were CHAdeMO.
  • A comment that the FCAI‘s charging standards published in 2017 mandate both Chademo and CCS2 at fast charging stations, that this ‘standard’ has not been updated, but that the NSW and WA fast charging grants programmes are “not as prescriptive” and do not require both to be installed to be eligible.
Evie “Lessons Learned” report October 2022
  • The proportion of CHAdeMO sessions is falling as the relative proportion of CHAdeMO vs CCS2 vehicles falls. In the 6 months Mar-Sep 2022, CHAdeMO usage grew by less than 10% but CCS2 usage grew by nearly 50%.
  • Ongoing high cost and extended timeframes for high power connections. DNSP’s are really slow (6 to 8 months from initial inquiry to receive the necessary information to inform technical and commercial viability), applications could cost up to $30,000, and “upfront expenditure on augmentation of a site once design standards and requirements from the DNSP are received can total up to $500,000 for high power connections”. 😱
  • Public charging continues to align with solar peaks, suggesting a clear benefit for the future of distribution networks. Public fast EV charging can act as a “solar soak”.
Intellihub “Street Light Pole EV Charger Project Knowledge Sharing Report” December 2022
  • Interesting discussion on the types of timber power poles that are feasible for mounting AC EVSEs and what are not. Poles they can’t mount on include:
    • Steel or concrete poles - fairly obvious. Too difficult or time consuming to mount the equipment, and time is money.
    • Poles with “Underground to Overhead” (UGOH) cable attachments - the poles with thick sheathed cable running down the pole, typically protected with a U-shaped steel cover in the lower part. These limit mounting points but more critically make it dangerous to drive in the ground stake for the EVSE because apparently there is an ”undocumented practice to run the underground portion of the UGOH cable around the base of the pole by the DNSP” 😱
    • Poles with High Voltage air-break switches.
    • Transmission/HV poles with earth down lead/cable.
    • ”Nailed Poles” - these are poles with large steel brackets or covers around the lowest 1.5 metres. I often wondered what these are - they are to prolong the longevity/structural stability of the pole.
    • Timber condemned poles - obvious. These poles are marked with an “X” painted on the pole and the pole is planned to be replaced.
    • Poles with pole top transformers.
    • Stayed Poles - poles with anchor cables in one direction to prevent them from leaning in the other direction due to pulling force. Typically found on end of line poles or where overhead cables transition to underground, or there is a sharp turn in running angle.
    • Termite Tagged poles - these are not condemned poles but poles being termite treated and considered otherwise structurally sound.
  • “through continued deliberation with our project stakeholders and challenging assumptions, we were able to revise the initial charging capacity from 7.4 kW to a more forward looking 22 kW”. 7.4 kW would have been a dud to spend all that money on installation and not support max AC charging rate on Teslas.
  • “The NSW Service & Installation rules do not contain rules relating to the installation of services on distribution poles” - basically this type of application had never been foreshadowed in the DNSP’s rules so they didn’t know how to treat it. Eventually they determined pole mounted EVSEs are are type of UGOH service even though they are not underground. So really new rules need to be developed to simplify the requirements and assessment time for pole mounted EVSEs.
  • Intellihub note ”a custom combined pole attachment, EV charging components, electrical protection requirements, metering equipment, communications equipment and a physical mechanical protection enclosure would greatly reduce cost and installation times. In addition, this would alleviate the requirement for electrical design standards exemptions as a combined unit could be designed within the scope of most existing rules/requirements.” This is the route that EVX took. They designed their own single-box unit, rather than rely on someone else (Schneider in Intellihub’s case) to mod one of their existing solutions.
  • It appears Intellihub have not installed a single unit yet, even though their grant timeline showed all 50 installations being completed by the end of this month. Meanwhile, EVX has already installed 11 pole mounted chargers - 9 in Sydney and 2 in the Newcastle area. 🤔

This will do for this post. There are two other really meaty ones to review - AGL “Electric Vehicle Orchestration Trial Lessons Learnt Report” May 2023 and Origin “Smart Charging Trial” August 2023.