Street-side EV charging is coming to an Aussie power pole near you

Street-side EV charging is coming to an Aussie power pole near you
Written by Techbot

Often when we talk about EVs, the question of charging comes up, particularly for those who don’t have garages to house their EV and recharge overnight. Thankfully a new EV Streetside Charging Project is looking to solve this need, with street side power poles to be turned into electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

This is an Australian first trial being rolled out across the Sydney and Hunter regions of NSW. Internationally, we’ve seen this story play out many times before, with the UK offering millions of dollars in on-street charging, back in November 2021.

Tens of thousands of power pole or streetlight EV chargers have been deployed across London, Los Angeles, New York, Hamburg; and Toronto. Other cities such as Seattle, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Berlin are exploring
similar alternatives to increase Electric Vehicle adoption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from private transport.

Eight out of ten existing EV owners charge at home, according to the NRMA, with the remaining relying on their workplace, shopping centres and highway fast chargers. With about 1 in 4 Australian households, or 1.9 million homes lacking off-street parking, on-street charging will certainly be a welcome inclusion.

There will be a total of 50 street-side locations selected for the EV Streetside Charging Project, with each EV charging station to be connected directly to the overhead electricity supply and energy use matched with 100% GreenPower.

There is potential for 190,000 EV chargers that could be connected to street-side power poles across Australia.

Smart metering and data intelligence provider Intellihub will lead the project, which is being delivered by several energy and EV businesses in partnership with local councils.

The project is being supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency with a $871,000 grant. Schneider Electric is providing EV chargers for the project and Origin Energy is providing 100% GreenPower, meaning all the energy used by the EV charges will be matched with the equivalent amount of certified renewable energy added to the grid.

This is a fraction of the estimated value of the EV public charging market in Australia, expected to be about $902 million.

The charging station sites will be nominated by up to 9 local councils taking part in the project.

  • Inner West Council
  • Singleton Shire Council
  • Waverley Council
  • Lake Macquarie City Council
  • Woollahara Council
  • City of Ryde
  • Randwick City Council
  • Northern Beaches Council
  • Parramatta City Council

If you own an EV and are in the area, then best make your voice known, as locations will be based on feedback from residents, expected demand, traffic access, and parking availability.

The chargers to be deployed are the EVLink Smart Wallbox by Schneider Electric. This offers between 7.4kW and 22kW depending on the power configuration. These support a Pay As You Go application where customers could pay with an RFID card.

You can learn more about this process by watching this video from Australian charging provider JET Charge.

Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said the project would help tackle the lack of public access to EV chargers, particularly for the one in four Australian households which do not have off-street parking.

It’s expected that as many as 10% of new car sales in Australia will be electric vehicles by 2025.

That equates to an extra 120,000 new EVs on our local streets each year. It is likely that many of these car owners may be unable to charge their EVs from home.

Power poles line most of our public streets and that presents an opportunity for the EV charging market.

They’re an accessible, safe, and practical option for EV charging.

They’ll be installed in front of the meter making them a controllable resource for grid operators looking to better manage the increasing penetration of renewables connected to the electricity network.

Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine

Potential locations for charging stations include areas near apartment buildings and high-density single-dwelling suburban streets, shopping strips, bus or train stations, sporting facilities and hospitals.

EV charging specialist at Withywindle David Anstee said there was potential for 190,000 public street-side EV charging stations across the country.

Thousands of power or light pole-based EV chargers have already been successfully deployed across London, Germany, Canada, and the United States.

This trial will help us understand and overcome any regulatory barriers and build a commercial model that is fit for purpose for Australian conditions.

It will uncover the charging habits of Australian EV owners across different locations and with different incentives.

And it will give energy suppliers insights into how to use electric vehicles to soak up excess rooftop solar power during high generation periods.

EV charging specialist at Withywindle David Anstee

The trial is also expected to provide safer ways for EV owners without off-street parking to charge their cars. Local councils are receiving regular reports of cars being charged via extension cords strung from homes to cars parked on the street.

Schneider Electric Vice President Power Products & Digital Power Farokh Ghadially said the EV charging technology offered easy-to-use charging facilities for type 1 and 2 electric vehicles.

Schneider Electric’s EV charging units provide greater control of energy distribution through AutoGrid Flex, a leading virtual power plant system.

This technology combines a number of independent power sources, like local solar power and the grid, to provide a reliable supply of electricity.

“This helps meet additional EV power needs, without compromising the local grid, all while reducing charging costs.

Schneider Electric Vice President Power Products & Digital Power Farokh Ghadially

The customer engagement platform for the project will be provided by EV specialists EVSE and the virtual power plant and distributed energy solutions will be managed by AutoGrid.

Original Article:

About the author