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ARENA/NRMA national fast charging network

Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,992
5,086
Hobart, Tas, Aus
Wasn't sure whether this was worth a new thread, but here it is!

This network is an election promise by the federal ALP, so is only really relevant if they win on May 21, so odds are good, but if they don't.. I guess this thread can fizzle into obscurity!

I've intentionally kept the party name out of the subject line so please keep discussion to the network proposal itself!

Now... what do we know about it?

* They're going to top up ARENA's future fuels fund with an additional $250m for EV related funding.

* One of the areas this will be spent on will be a national EV highway: "Labor will invest $39.3 million (matched by the NRMA) to deliver 117 fast charging stations on highways across Australia. This will provide charging stations at an average interval of 150km on major roads." (source)

* Their policy page lists "Adelaide to Perth, Darwin to Broome to Perth, Broken Hill to Adelaide, Port Augusta to Darwin, Brisbane to Mt Isa to Tennant Creek" - suggesting that they will be funding these gaps (made sense, since most other areas are going to be covered).

* NRMA is labelled as a partner - I'm not sure in what way. (Some may panic and say that this means this national network will be 50 kW, single stalls - I don't think that's likely. $39.3m/117 is about $335k per site. That's about 3x a typical 50 kW site, or about 2/3 of a typical dual 350 kW site)

So, not a lot of detail to go on, however... I just saw this image shared by Chris Bowen on twitter:

sjEcA3M.png


It seems to suggest this network covers (basically) everywhere, not just the remote legs. Indeed the blue dots seem to line up with the existing NRMA coverage.

It could just be that they asked their graphics intern to come up with a map with dots along the highways. I haven't counted to see if there are 117 red dots there yet!

Obviously there's a lot of detail to come that we don't know yet.
 
It could just be that they asked their graphics intern to come up with a map with dots along the highways. I haven't counted to see if there are 117 red dots there yet!

Love that. Thinking of major highways is always a good start. It requires effort to maintain, ensure it is working and most importantly need a way to show that they are active or not. Recent articles show the challenge of non-Tesla network and how hard it is to know what is available or not.
 

moa999

2020 3 SR+ MSM
Mar 4, 2020
1,994
1,931
Sydney, AUS
I think in many cases you will be pulling your own electricity cables or building solar arrays and batteries in WA and NT in particular so can easily see the cost averaging at $660k, even for 50kW chargers, though I hope it's higher.

Any funding is good funding so I'm a supporter.

But I actually think bigger funding demand in the next 5yrs is going to be on the major highways as the grid operators ask for payment for new infrastructure as the existing charging sites look to expand to multiple stalls.
Without it all EV drivers might have to suffer holiday queues in particular.

I think also the map on the right is a little bit disengenous as it ignores that State Govts are mostly responsible for roads and road related infrastructure and the various current funded and in progress programs by Qld, NSW, Vic and SA that will fill in many of the gaps. Less so for the WA and NT governments where there are still genuine gaps.
 
This is awesome. Might be too much to hope for, but 350kW nationwide charging will do a lot to spur EV adoption and really silence the "But EVs can't go out bush".

For the initial rollout I think even 2x150kW or 2x175kW stalls (depending on the supplier) rather than 350kW would be plenty. Especially in the more rural areas where grid capacity is lower.

The last thing we want is a rollout of 50kW sites though. With the vast distances, slow 50kW will be a huge headache and once done, the government will forget about any upgrades for years/decades. Will be akin to a FTTN vs FTTP.
 

Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,992
5,086
Hobart, Tas, Aus
Both good points in the last two comments.

I'd like to see them prioritise the least serviced routes and doing it properly (i.e. solar/battery if necessary, 150+ kW) and keep going until the money runs out.

e.g.
1. The Northern Territory (currently has nothing, no plans).
2. The parts of SA that the SA Electric Highway network says will be limited to AC; and WA went of Norseman (limited to 1x 50 kW Biofil and 25 kW).
3. The remote parts of Qld (which are only getting single stall 75 kW).
4. WA north of Perth (which is getting a mix of 50-75-150 kW).

If it means they only have enough money to do 1+2, or 1+2+3, that's OK. At least the regions which are not getting anything will get something usable.
 
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Installing and maintaining a nation wide high capacity EV charging network would result in many highly paid, skilled jobs.
Many, if not most of these jobs would be in rural areas. I don't understand why more is not made of the economic benefits of EVs.
I haven't paid an electricity bill for almost four years due to our solar/battery system and we on this site know how much it costs to run a Model 3.
When is the penny going to drop?
 

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