Electric car charging provider Evie Networks plans to become Australia’s largest network, as it wins a massive government contract to expand infrastructure in every capital city.
The funding is coming from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of a federal funding rollout. Evie will use the $15 million funding to build 158 new EV charging locations in every capital over the next two years.
Instead of targeting bespoke locations, Evie will aim to roll its chargers out in shopping centres and council car parks to allow its network to be more “convenient”.
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Evie pitches its locations as “high security” and reminds potential EV owners that charging infrastructure will allow drivers to be “unchained from travelling to a petrol station to refuel their car.”
However, Evie also partners with Puma and Ampol to provide charging locations at existing refuelling hubs. Evie currently runs three stations in Sydney, four in Melbourne, one in Brisbane, and three in Canberra. It also operates a large network in regional Victoria, and a collection along the east coast corridor between cities.
Evie’s network currently uses and will continue to use Tritium charging hardware, which is also seen in NRMA’s network throughout NSW. Tritium is a Brisbane-based company, and its chargers support both the more popular Type 2 CCS DC plug, and the Japanese-standard Chademo DC plug which is required to fast charge cars like the Nissan Leaf.
The standard locations will be 50kW DC, allowing charging times of around two hours from 10-80 per cent for most electric vehicles, while the “ultra-fast” locations will be able to support up to 350kW, allowing charge times of much less than an hour for vehicles which can accept such speeds.
Evie says of in addition to its planned 158 station rollout in metro areas, it will build 42 “ultra-fast” locations in corridoors between capital cities.
Evie’s competitors include ChargeFox, which is already aggressively rolling out its network, and Tesla, which recently announced it will allow other vehicles to charge at its currently software-locked locations, but with no timeframe.