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ACT government to install 50 EV charging stations

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The Australian Capital Territory continues its nation-leading effort to boost the uptake of electric vehicles, this week revealing plans to roll out EV charging stations across the capital city.

The Territory’s minister for climate and sustainability Shane Rattenbury said on Tuesday that 50 new standard dual electric vehicle charging stations would be installed at government sites across Canberra over 2018-19.

The $456,000 rollout will be funded by the Territory government in the upcoming June Budget.

“The ACT is again proof positive that local jurisdictions are getting the job done when it comes to delivering real action on climate change,” Rattenbury said in comments on Tuesday.

“With transport is expected to create over 60 per cent of the ACT’s emissions by 2020, mostly from private cars use, we’re acting to ensure that the Territory is well-placed to transition towards electric vehicle use – in line with global market trends.

“As a major employer in the Territory, with a significant fleet of vehicles, it is also important that the ACT does our part in promoting sustainable travel.

“The Government has already begun working with private sector partners to deliver this investment and support public awareness of electric vehicle use.”

The installation of the charging stations complements the recent mandate for all newly leased government vehicles to be zero emissions from 2021 – announced in April as part of what is easily the most ambitious transition plan to electric vehicles in Australia.

The transport strategy includes a study of solar-powered charging stations in car parks, vehicle-to-grid studies, use of transit lanes, and salary sacrifice options, as well as parking and building requirements.

“Zero emissions vehicles offer a clean, reliable and smart option for travel in Canberra,” Rattenbury said in April, when the policy was unveiled.

“From 2020 in the ACT, all electricity will be from renewable sources – so using a zero emissions vehicle charged in the ACT will result in no greenhouse gas emissions.”

The announcement on the EV charging network also comes less than two weeks after the ACT government ratcheted up its emissions reduction target to aim for net zero emissions by 2045, instead of 2050.

As we reported at the time, the ACT already expects to source the equivalent of 100 per cent of its electricity needs from renewables by 2020 – itself an accelerated target – so is now turning its attention to the transport sector, as the next key target for reduction.

As of last month, the ACT government car fleet had just 17 battery electric vehicles, and 7 plug-in hybrids, along with eight electric bicycles. The Territory has also begun trials of two battery electric buses and one hybrid bus running on diesel, and proposes 20 hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles over the next two years.  

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  • George Darroch

    Go the ACT.

    Chargers are a solid, practical thing that states and territories can do to enhance adoption of EVs, here and now.

    • Hettie

      Yes. and the sub $500,000 price tag for 50 double charging points is the first indication I have seen of a cost for chargers.
      Does anyone else have other information about costs? it’s a pretty important aspect of the action needed for rapid take off of EVs.

      • Here’s some good info. It’s in USD tho.
        https://rmi.org/news/pulling-back-veil-ev-charging-station-costs/

        • Hettie

          Interesting, but I note it is dated April 2014. No doubt, as with all modern technology, costs are now substantially lower.

          • Actually I highly doubt that. Did you read how that a lot of the cost isn’t even in the actual fast charger hardware?

          • Hettie

            Looking at the graphs, I read that for the home charger the charging g hardware is well over two thirds of the cost, and for all commercial chargers it is well over one third of the cost.
            I also suspect that further development will make the other big component, electrician labour, much lower, by simplifying the wiring and use of connection modules. I could of course be quite wrong, but history suggests that such things are simplified over time.

          • Yes, and a single 50 kW fast charger installation is around $60k. Around $23k for the fast charger, $18k for a transformer, and around $20k in labor etc.
            So a little over 1/3rd of the cost is for the hardware.
            Next gen ultra fast DC chargers are a lot more costly, but I haven’t found info on them yet. I do know that a Tesla Supercharger of 8-12 stalls is $200-250 for the whole installation.

    • Roger Brown

      In QLD , we already have EV charging stations , up and down the coast from Springfield to Cairns .

  • Joe

    Now that ex-Premier Jay has left the RE Leadership stage the baton has been picked up by ACT. Great to see the Shane / ACT Govt. giving it plenty!

    • Hettie

      True, although the Pelican in SA seems to be determined to follow through with the Wetherill VPP initiative as well as Marshall’s plans.

      • Joe

        The Pelican is talking the talk which is all well and good. Lets see him now him ‘waddle’ the talk.

    • rob

      voted up 1000 times ……I’m still in tears!

      • Joe

        Rob, looks like you gave it plenty but you failed to get Team Jay over the line. Next election please try a little harder and vote the Marshall & co OUT!

  • Hettie

    If only every State Government were so committed to both climate change action and taking up the advantages of RE and EVs!
    Not to mention mitigating the national security risk of our dependence on imported oil products and our woefully inadequate reserves of those products.

  • Thucydides

    If all Australian governments moved their fleets over to electric vehicles their price would come down, chargers become available and private buyers would enter the market.

    • Hettie

      Indeed. And because Gov’t vehicles are replaced every 2 years, the whole fleet would be EV by mid 2020.
      One assumes that EVs would be retained longer, say 5 years.
      Vehicle costs per year would thus be greatly reduced, even though unit prices for EVs are higher than ICE. The lower fuel and maintenance costs should make this policy change a no brainer, but as it is obvious that most of our Gov’t pollies have no brains, don’t hold your breath.

  • rob

    well done ACT