Treasurer and Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, has announced the NSW Government is investing $39.4 million in the first round of Fast Charging Grants to co-fund 86 new fast and ultra-fast EV charging stations. Each charging station will contain 4 to 15 bays, with a minimum of two ultra-fast EV charging bays of 350kW capacity, and two fast charging bays of 175kW.
The end result should see more than 500 new charging bays open for EV owners in NSW as the project progresses over the next 24 months.
New electric vehicle sales currently represent less than 4% of all current new car sales according to VFACTS. And with the price still being the biggest barrier to entry for new EV buyers, the slow uptake isn’t going to end anytime soon with interest rates climbing and a cost of living crisis that’ll force many low to middle-income earners away from new vehicle purchases. Nonetheless, it’s something EV owners will relish, assuming chargers are maintained.
The successful applicants from this round include some of the biggest names in the EV charging industry. Newcomers Ampol and BP are included alongside heritage names such as Evie Networks, Tesla, the NRMA, and Zeus Renewables.
We’ll note that these are all private companies that have shown little interest in maintaining their network, with Sydney’s only 350kW fast charger being out of service on numerous occasions this year – check out the constant maintenance issues highlighted by The Driven right here.
At the time of writing Man of Many finds 7 out of 14 Chargefox DC charging stations around Sydney with one or more chargers out of service or offline. This includes the Goulburn charging station that’s been out of service since the 1st of October, 2022. A mandatory stop for most EV owners who make their way from Sydney to Canberra. We recently used this and the Evie charger at Sutton Forest in our trip to Canberra in the 2022 Audi e-Tron S.
It’s the NSW Government’s target to add approximately 250 fast and ultra-fast charging stations in total across NSW, ensuring chargers are no more than 5km apart in metropolitan areas and no more than 100km apart on major roads and highways across NSW. But with little money to be made from charging itself, the companies have no reason to maintain their chargers once they’re installed. Man of Many has contacted the Government for comment to ask if or how they will hold the co-funded companies accountable, suggesting a mandatory ‘Up Time’ should apply.
The second round of co-funding is expected to open towards the end of this year.