Australian Charging Station Grants

Amongst grants for the building of plants to extract hydrogen from fossil fuels, the Australian Federal Government announced in late 2021 that it is providing $25 million in funding to five companies for new Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers across metropolitan and regional Australia – to drive uptake of EVs, support consumer choice and boost charging stations sevenfold.

Five companies will receive a share in the funding, delivering a total of 403 new charging stations under round one of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Future Fuels Fund, part of the $79.9 million investment into Australia’s fast charging network.

The successful applicants that will deliver public fast charging networks are listed below:

  • Evie Networks: $8.85 million (across eight regions)
  • Ampol Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd: $7.05 million (across four regions)
  • Engie: $6.85 million (across four regions)
  • Chargefox Pty Ltd: $1.4 million (across two regions)
  • Electric Highways Tasmania Pty Ltd: $0.4 million (across one region)

This funding will accelerate the roll out of fast charging stations across all capital cities and key regional centres, including Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Gold Coast, with each regional location receiving a minimum of eight new stations.

The new stations, all powered by renewable energy and capable of charging at least two vehicles concurrently at 50kW or above, represent a sevenfold increase in the number of public fast charging stations across these regions.

The $71.9 million Future Fuels Fund is a key plank in the Government’s Future Fuels Strategy. The Strategy will drive the creation of an environment that enables consumer choice, stimulates industry development and reduces emissions in the road transport sector.

Over $1.4 billion has already been committed by the Federal Government to help increase the uptake of low and zero emissions vehicle technologies, including through the Future Fuels Fund. 

Solar cell vehicle coming to Australia

From Driven, 1 February 2022:

Aptera, the innovative EV maker that has started testing its “Never Charge” three-wheeler prototypes in the US, says it has started looking at selling its EVs in Australia and it could be here as soon as 2023.

The Aptera Alpha and Beta started testing on Californian roads in January ahead of production. The futuristic pod-like vehicles resemble something more out of a sci-fi film than any existing car on the road, and are designed to use a little as energy as possible.

This, says Aptera, means that with solar cells integrated into the body they would rarely need charging, if at all. It says that its integrated 700 watts of  solar cells can provide up to 70km of driving range a day from the sun alone, and up to 1,600km from its lithium-ion battery for the top-of-the-line option.

Thanks to Aptera’s streamlined aerodynamics which give it a drag coefficient of 0.13, the company says it is capable of acceleration from 0-100km/hr in less than 3.5 seconds with the 150kW motor option, or 5.5 seconds with the 100kW motor.

Its lightweight composite body has seating for two passengers and 25 cubic feet (0.8m2) space in the back for a small grocery shop.

And the ground-breaking Aptera will come to Australia, the company has now confirmed.