Network operator Ausgrid has installed what it says is the country’s first pole-mounted electric vehicle charger for “long dwell” charging sessions in the city of Newcastle. It could be the first of 30,000 such chargers spread across its network.
The 22kW AC charger has been installed by EVX as part of a joint deal between Ausgrid and the City of Newcastle and is located in the beach side suburb of Merewether.
“Long dwell” charging is a term to describe charging sessions that take one to two hours, and the charger has been deliberately located next to cafes, parks and the beach.
The charger – like the others planned for the network – is built on pre-existing utility poles, meaning the above-ground charging points can be added easily without major works, and less disruption to surrounding communities.
The move, announced on Tuesday, is part of a broader Ausgrid plan to deliver up to 30,000 pole-mounted EV chargers across its network by 2029.
“We are incredibly excited to be delivering this innovative Australian first with the City of Newcastle and EVX,” Ausgrid CEO Richard Gross said.
“These pole-mounted chargers will help to address EV accessibility by providing chargers for people without home systems, and those traveling outside of their local areas.
“We believe it is our role as the electricity distributor to seek opportunities to help deliver innovative technologies for our customers, and we’re excited to continue rolling out this program across our network.”
EVX CEO Andrew Forster said EV ownership might be on the rise, but many communities are at risk of being excluded because of limited access to charging infrastructure.
“We hope that other councils take note of how they can help EV drivers charge their vehicles more conveniently while doing their bit towards the goal of decarbonising the planet.”
The charging point will cost EV drivers $0.50 per kWh. And it will have a maximum capacity of 11kw per socket. Drivers can download the EVX Australia app, scan the QR code on the charging point and start charging. Users will need to bring the charging cable associated with their individual vehicle.
The City of Newcastle Councillor has set a goal of 10,000 registered EVs in its city by 2025.
“To achieve that we need to work with our partners such as Ausgrid and EVX to support the supply of suitable charging stations, both in new buildings and in public places,” said Councillor Carol Duncan.
“I welcome the installation of this charger at Dixon Park beach, which will allow our community or visitors to charge their car while enjoying our beaches, cafes, parks and pathways.”
EVX, founded in 2021, is a relative newcomer to the EV charging scene in Australia. The company made headlines last month when it announced plans to roll out 1,000 kerbside charging points across Australia in just two years, in collaboration with UK EV charging company Connected Kerb.
If everything goes to plan under Labor’s new climate and energy policy nine out of ten cars sold in 2030 in Australia will be battery electric, so a robust charging infrastructure, seen as one of the major barriers to EV uptake, is needed.