Power pole points to charge electric cars

Electric car drivers without garages will be able to plug into power poles on NSW streets under a trial.

The federal Australian Renewable Energy Agency on Tuesday 30 August announced $871,000 for an Australian-first roll out of 50 points.

Agency CEO Darren Miller says they hope to see the points deployed across Australia, which allow for top ups and overnight charging.

Utility services company Intellihub will install chargers on power poles across nine local government areas, helping drivers who live in apartments, townhouses or units without access to charging on site.

Currently, about one in four Australian households – or 1.9 million – can’t charge an electric vehicle from home.

Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said power poles are accessible, safe, and practical for charging.

Up to 10 per cent of new car sales in Australia are expected to be EVs 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,” he said.

Eight out of ten EV owners charge at home at present, with others relying on their workplace, shopping centres and highway fast chargers, according to the NRMA.

The nine local councils to get the new points are Waverley, Woollahra, Randwick, Lake Macquarie, Ryde, Singleton, Parramatta, Northern Beaches and Inner West local councils.

Origin Energy will power the $2.04 million project, with all energy required to charge the vehicles to be matched with certified renewable energy added to the grid.

An app that connects with the electricity grid will be used for billing.

If the trial is successful, there will be a wider rollout to more local councils on a commercial basis.


Marion Rae
(Australian Associated Press)


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