A week ago at the Brisbane Truck Show I button-holed the head of Ampol Australia, Matt Halliday, about the state of EV charging facilities in Australia.
When, I asked, would EV charging stations at petrol stations get a canopy over the heads, maybe a bucket of water for cleaning windows, perhaps even a rubbish bin.
It always delivered to cars filling up with fossil fuels, and they don’t spend much time there. EV charging stations, particularly at petrol stations, have the appearance of being an after thought, which they are. But still, this is a big issue for EV drivers.
EV driver Tom Hunt has come across another pressing issue for the growing number of EVs on the road, which is where and how to charge when they are doing something that the former federal Coalition government assured us they would never do – tow a boat.
Hunt was doing exactly that – towing a boat with his Tesla Model Y – on his way home the other day and needed a charge. BP have recently installed some fast-chargers at a petrol station along the Hume Highway between Canberra and Sydney, but like many chargers there is no allowance for EVs that tow.
“As a long term EV driver I would like to congratulate you on your commitment to providing car charging facilities now,” Hunt wrote to BP the other day.
“I decided to try your new charger on my way home from Canberra on Monday night. I had a very successful recharge of my car and myself at your Marulan service centre, thank you.
“I must apologise though in that I did cheat a little with the parking. See photo. I was careful not to block any others there but as you can understand, when you have to reverse in for a charge, it’s not a very simple operation without removing trailer and re-parking both before and after charging.
“Luckily for me the car park wasn’t busy and we have good ground clearance.
“I am often towing on my longer trips and so far sadly have found very few charging places that can accomodate tow vehicles.
“May I encourage you to include drive through charging bays in your future installations where you can please. It will be good when EVs are afforded the same covered driveway bays as ICE vehicles, as charging times are really not that long, and queuing is going to get complicated as more and more EVs join the road.”
Oh, and the buckets of water, a window wipe and the garbage bins too please. Maybe even a solar canopy?
Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of The Driven, and also edits and founded the Renew Economy and One Step Off The Grid web sites. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years, is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review, and owns a Tesla Model 3.