NSW releases masterplan for 1,000 “ultra-fast” charging bays along major routes

Giles Parkinson published this article in The Drive on 12 September 2021. Read the article here or below.

NSW Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Energy and Environment Matt Kean and NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet in Sydney. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

The New South Wales state Liberal government has released details for its electric vehicle charging masterplan, which will aim to install 1,000 “ultra-fast” charging bays along major routes, and an interactive map to guide network owners where they should install their facilities.

The plan was unveiled by transport minister Andrew Constance and energy and environment minister Matt Kean, and promises the biggest EV charging network of any state or territory in Australia.

The state already has the most progressive policies to support the uptake of EVs, including the newly introduced $3,000 rebate for EVs under the price of $68,000, and a stamp duty exemption.

Constance said in a statement the plan would result in NSW having more EV charging stations than all the other Australian states and territories combined.

“The ultra-fast chargers will allow vehicles to charge to optimal range in under 10 minutes or about the time it takes to have a cup of coffee – future proofing the state and signaling to the market that NSW is ready to receive more EV models,” he said.

“The NSW Government will co-fund new ultra-fast charging stations by providing about 1,000 charging bays along key travel routes across the state and unlocking around $160 million in private investment.”

(A spokesperson said the definition of “ultra fast” chargers would be at least 50kW, so it may take more than 10 minutes).

Supporting the plan is an interactive map that will provide data on electricity supply, traffic volumes, points of interest and projected demand for chargers over the next 10 years.

“This Masterplan will put range anxiety firmly in the rear-view mirror,” said Kean, the first minister in the country to drive an EV (his is a Tesla Model 3).

“We will also ensure all Government-funded charging stations are powered with renewable energy, helping to reduce emissions to net zero.”

The fully open-access map, which will help investors identify optimal locations for electric vehicle fast charging infrastructure, and will help to assess applications for EV charging grants, appears to be similar in concept to the state’s renewable infrastructure plan.

That plan has identified at least five renewable energy zones in the state, which will help guide and select the best sites for wind, solar and storage projects. The first two zones have already attracted more than 60GW of project proposals.

NSW hopes to have the 1,000 charging bays in place by 2027. It will release the support funding in four different rounds, and winning tenderer will have two years to complete their installations.

The interactive charging map will include data on projected electric vehicle adoption in the area, traffic movements, tourism data, vehicle ownership, local points of interest, location of major cabling, and available substation capacities (which has been a major issue for many ultra-fast charging stations to date).

The map will be available here.

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