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Queensland Electric Highway

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by garyjac, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. garyjac

    garyjac Member

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    After months of writing to the Energy Minister (should be Munster), with no result worth mentioning, I sent an email to Ergon on this subject. Only took Ergon 3 weeks to answer, as follows:

    "In terms of location, the network will run from Cairns to Toowoomba, with individual fast charging sites located approximately every 100km at major regional centres or towns along the way where Ergon Energy has depots. Actual site locations haven’t yet be determined as will involve discussions with stakeholders, such as councils and state government.

    In terms of timing,first installs are expected to occur in late 2017 and take approximately 12 months to do all the installs we are planning along the route to achieve connectivity.


    With regards to cost, we can’t provide any information at this stage as we are currently going through a tender process and negotiation with vendors."

    This is from one of their senior development engineers. I advised him that the cost of the WA electric highway was exhorbitant and this would mitigate against its use by many. I also emphasised that a green source of energy was preferable.
     
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  2. strykeroz

    strykeroz Member

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    Years ago I celebrated getting my new car with breakfast in Airlie Beach. All going to plan it appears I'll be able to do similar with my Model 3.
     
  3. garyjac

    garyjac Member

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    A possibility. I assume that it will be ChadeMo type (Tritium) chargers and we'll need the expensive adapter. However, that would also make such an adapter a more worthwhile purchase. If they stick to targets, of course :rolleyes:
     
  4. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    When you say the WA Electric highway was exhorbitant were you referring to build cost or charging cost?
     
  5. garyjac

    garyjac Member

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    I beliive it was posted somewhere here that the WA highway was $1 kWh of charge and if my memory is correct, (if) then that is too high to encourage rapid takeup, and in view of regular electricity costs, too high in general.
     
  6. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    Initially the RAC Electric highway was free, that was continued until April this year when I believe the shires were handed control, the charge is now 45 cents per kwh with a connection fee of $1.00 going to Chargestar.
    Although 45 cents appears high compared to grid, home solar or free Tesla Superchargers there are three positives 1. 45 cents per unit is still cheaper than fueling a fossil fuel car for a trip to the South-West 2. as home charging should be cheaper it encourages drivers to use home charging more, and 3. At 45 cents a unit it may encourage other companies to get in on the car charging business, maybe in time the Australian car charging network gets competitive and charging costs reduce.
    The Electric highway here in WA is an excellent set up, sadly many West Australians have no idea it exists, including a large part of the 840,000 RAC members.
    If Ergon get the QLD superhighway up and completed by late 2018 it will be a great achievement considering the amount of charge stations and red tape involved.
    One of our forum members Chris J played a big role in the WA electric highway as chair of AVEA WA, he may be able to provide some info on how these things unfold.
     
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  7. garyjac

    garyjac Member

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    I herewith recant my heresy as posted above. 45 cents is quite a bit more bearable for an occasional trip and I'm glad I was wrong but not glad that I didn't look it up first. :confused:
     
  8. *KT*

    *KT* Member

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    Thanks garyjac for your proactive approach to getting information on this. Will be interesting to see if QLD learns anything about how to do this based on WA experience.
     
  9. jonescg

    jonescg New Member

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    Hi guys,

    Yes, I actually drafted the original design plan for the Electric Highway in WA, which the RAC very kindly established and commissioned over a year ago. It was indeed the nation's first Electric Highway, beating the Tesla superchargers up the Hume Highway by a good few months. It consisted of 13 Circontrol Trio fast chargers, with 10 currently installed and operational. Two remain un-installed due to site problems (mainly local government negotiations).

    These are only 50 kW and they require Tesla owners to buy the adaptor, but 220 km/h of charging is better than 100 from a three-phase point (if you have that option) or 30 km/h from a 32 A connection. Still, it opened up the south-west to production EV drivers, and that's pretty darn cool. We made sure that there was a 32 A single phase charge point and a huumble 15 amp GPO at every site - these GPOs have saved a few drivers over the last year, as drivers might have had trouble with the fast charger but still managed to get some units in for their next leg.

    After funding for the WA highway was announced by the RAC, I was approached by the RAC to draft a due dilligence report, and to get in touch with various suppliers around the country, including ABB, Delta and Tritium. E-Station was successful and ultimately the Circontrol Trio chargers were installed. I was then approached by E-Station to help in their roll-out and commissioning, which came to fruition on the 20th of June 2015.

    Not long after this the Qld government expressed an interest in establishing a similar network up the coast, but energy retailer, Ergon, were already planning on their own network to service their fleet of vehicles. Since Ergon is largely state-owned, the Qld government basically handed the project to Ergon and told them to make it happen; funds will be available when you ask for them.

    Ergon recently hosted a round of EOI's and I believe just recently there was a deadline for firms like Tritium, ABB and E-Station to make their cases. Nobody has heard anything yet, but it's quite possible that the network might be made up of a few different makes of charger. I believe this is a good thing, as there's still plenty of innovation around vehicle fast charging to be had. One very exciting development is the Ergon highway is going to mandate the Type-2 connector for Fast AC and Combo (CCS). This makes sense, as Australia has lots of three-phase power everywhere, and the Mennekes connector is made for the job. I also know Circontrol are developing a 150 kW charger using both ChaDeMo and CCS-Type 2.

    So I guess we'll wait and see, but it's certainly the most we've ever seen a government do in this space. The RAC Electric Highway received absolutely nothing from the state or federal government. In fact the WA government said in as many words "We're glad the private sector is championing this, but we won't be committing funds to any such projects".

    In the meantime, ask your Qld Branch of the AEVA about getting 5-pin three phase power points installed along popular highway routes - we can provide assistance with the sockets and installations. Not a fast charger, but better than walking!

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
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  10. garyjac

    garyjac Member

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    I sincerely hope that Ergon and the Qld. Gov have the common sense to have those 32A 3-phase and even 15 amp 1-phase outlets at each locality as a backup.
     
  11. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    Thanks for the summary Chris.
    Pictured is the charge station at RAC headquarters West Perth, the roof of the 7 story building covered in Solar panels.
    image.jpg
     
  12. timpoo

    timpoo Member

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    Public charging is tough as a business case. People have a direct comparison to their pricing at home, unlike petrol stations. While it's true that higher prices in public charging encourages more people to charge at home, that obviously doesn't bode well for the ongoing maintenance of the public network.

    We'll see what happens in the QLD case.
     
  13. Chuq

    Chuq Member

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    I wouldn't mind if fast charging costs the same as petrol to use. After all, it does cost a lot more to provide fast charging (the high demand on the network supply as well as the charging equipment itself). The intention is that you use cheap, slow charging for the 95% of the time where it suits, and you use more expensive, fast charging only for the 5% of the time when you need it.

    The only issue would be publicity/media - non EV drivers may hear this and think that if they drove an EV they aren't going to save any money, because it costs the same - even though 95% of the time they would be saving heaps.
     
  14. Chuq

    Chuq Member

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    Interesting the email from Ergon says Toowoomba to Cairns. On another forum someone has asked about fast chargers between Brisbane to the Gold Coast - I'm surprised that's not covered since it is a very busy route.
     
  15. garyjac

    garyjac Member

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    Jurisdictional issue - Ergon controls the network "outside the SE Corner" which (by governments definition) ends at Toowoomba. How far North it "ends" I don't know, but there ought to be a Tesla SC in Brisbane by then surely.
     
  16. Chuq

    Chuq Member

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    Makes perfect sense! Although does this mean the electric highway is going to have a big gap through Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, unless they are going to build it from Toowoomba and head straight north (which I didn't think would be a heavily trafficked route?) I previously assumed it was a Toowoomba to Brisbane to Cairns proposal.
     
  17. garyjac

    garyjac Member

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    Ergon was non-specific, but I know they set a few post-graduates to work on mapping "their network". The Brisabne-Toowoomba-Gold Coast corner/area is Energex "territory" and that network authority is only peripherally involved with this proposal so far as I know, although querying them directly might be an idea. Brisbane, I imagine, will be well served in 2 years or so. There are 2 ChadeMo sites here of which I'm aware and a number of Tesla chargers at various destinations. Also five or six destination chargers at the Sunshine Coast (3-phase sockets and Tesla).
     
  18. WhiteStar

    WhiteStar Member

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    With the exception of Queensland (I might've included the ACT govt. if it hadn't just ordered 20 Hyundai ix35 Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles), how short-sighted are the governments of Australia? Or more likely ham-strung by their cronies in last century industries donating pittances to the political parties while profiteering from the destruction of present and future ecosystems under the guise of “jobs & growth”. Australia - the gold medal G20 climate laggard.

    BTW thank you for your remarkable advocacy & leadership in expanding electric frontiers.
     
  19. renim

    renim Member

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    [QUOTE="WhiteStar, post: 1709682, member: 28789"... (I might've included the ACT govt. if it hadn't just ordered 20 Hyundai ix35 Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles), how short-sighted are the governments of Australia?.... expanding electric frontiers.[/QUOTE]

    Canberra ordering 20 H2 Hyundais and a hydrogen station for $55million is crazy. stupid
     
  20. TesAus

    TesAus Member

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    Canberra ordering 20 H2 Hyundais and a hydrogen station for $55million is crazy. stupid[/QUOTE]


    That could have bought a significant fleet of Teslas and their own superchargers!
     

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