Electric car charging stations are available throughout Australia; however, experts believe there are just two or three outlets in many areas, and that must change if customers are to avoid lengthy lines the next time they visit.
The government’s investments in the region’s EV infrastructure are essential to resolving the frustrations that most holidaymakers have faced during the last few weeks, as various charging firms have claimed.
However, other companies are more optimistic and believe that the lines reported in the latter half of December and January will be less severe by 2024 since they clearly show that more chargers are required.
The NRMA manages 55 charging stations throughout New South Wales and reported an increase of 50% in demand over the week beginning January. The rise was even more significant at the most popular locations in Homebush along with Mittagong.
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“It has obviously led to delays – it is going to take time to build the network to a point where you see a drop in these delays,” NRMA spokesperson Peter Khoury said.
“The challenge is getting the charging stations in the right location, getting them working, but also making sure we can scale up in the right places when we need to.”
The NSW government has promised to construct over 1,000 charge stations that will charge vehicles using electric power in an ambitious four-year plan to provide the largest charging network in the nation.
BP Pulse has 22 fast-charging stations in Australia, with plans to add 100 stations by 2023. The company’s business development manager, Josh Hoevenaars, said that the delays currently occurring indicate the growing demand for electric vehicles.
“At the moment we’ve got a fairly vast network of charging stations, but it is quite shallow,” Hoevenaars stated.
“It covers the majority of Australia however many places only have two chargers. Since we don’t have the capacity of charging or redundant charging at those locations, many people are waiting. It’s not that often during the year, and only on a couple of days during peak times.”
Luke Chippendale, the general director of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, said that some vacationers delayed returning home for as long as eight hours because of the inability to connect to charging stations.
“We know that a lot of the charging infrastructure is based on downtime, where people have the ability to pull up for a night,” Chippindale explained.
“But from a tourism perspective, when you start to look at range anxiety and battery capabilities, the reliance on a fast-charge network is really critical.”
Chippendale is urging governments to build rapid charging stations in regional caravan parks. The hope is that this will inspire more electric vehicle drivers to cover further distances confidently.
“It’s a way to make sure we keep people moving across the country, to keep people visiting the areas they love to visit and ensure there is a fairly mature charging network away from high-demand urban areas,” Chippindale stated.
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“We are aware that people are plugged in and charging for 5 or 6 hours before going on an exercise on their bikes in this period. There’s nothing one can change to cut down on the time to charge without a fast-charging device which can reduce the charge time to about 15 to 20 minutes.”
Michael Brewitt, the director of VE Charge, a company that has charging stations installed in offices and homes. The public infrastructure in Australia was, at a minimum, five years behind the international standards.
“It isn’t financially feasible for a private firm to build any of these chargers as the investment return is too slow at this point. Without help from the government we will not be able to have enough stations built,” he said.
However, Hoevenaars claimed that the charging market could proliferate due to increased competition and investment.
“I am an optimist, so I would hazard a guess that we will be in a better position next year, even with increased growth of sales, because you are seeing a lot of new entrants into the charging market and also increased investment and ambition from existing operators,” Hoevenaars claimed.