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Not enough places to charge an electric car? Think again as Jolt secures big funding, tempting EV owners with renewable and free charging

Competition between EV charging providers for the top spot will see thousands of new locations opened in the next few years.

EV charging provider Jolt, which flags its point of difference as free and completely renewable charging, has scored the “largest investment in the EV charging sector in Australia” after BlackRock Real Assets acquired an equity stake.

The agreement will “provide over $100 million of capital to support Jolt’s business expansion”, with 5000 new charging stations planned to be built across Australia.

Jolt chargers are fast-charge DC locations (which allow charge rates faster than 22kW) and completely free to use for the first 7kWh (equating to between 40 – 50km of range depending on the efficiency of the vehicle). The stations support both the European-standard Type 2 CCS and Japanese-standard CHAdeMO ports.

Like its competitors, Jolt stations require an app to start, where pricing rates are displayed past the 7kW free period. To help subsidise its costs, the brand’s charging stations also serve as digital advertising boards.

The brand is partnered with Ausgrid, and its chargers are powered by completely renewable energy. Its network is currently entirely located in Adelaide, and since March, it has expanded from just five to 16 stations.

The brand hopes its expansion plan to 5000 locations will make it Australia’s largest EV charge point operator. It has a long way to go to challenge ChargeFox, which currently lays claim to the largest network in Australia, operating some 1400 individual plugs. Chargefox announced in June it also has plans to expand to 5000 locations by 2025.

Jolt plans to be one of the biggest charging providers in Australia - but will face stiff competition from Tesla, ChargeFox, and Evie. Jolt plans to be one of the biggest charging providers in Australia - but will face stiff competition from Tesla, ChargeFox, and Evie.

A competitor to both, Evie, recently announced that it has secured $15 million of funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to expand its network by 158 chargers in capital cities and 42 ultra-fast chargers in strategic locations. It also has plans to become Australia’s largest EV network in the future.

Meanwhile, Tesla leader Elon Musk has announced that the brand has plans to make its formidable charging network will be made available to non-Tesla vehicles at some point in the future, although has not announced a timeframe or how its pricing model will operate. Tesla charging locations in Australia use a Type 2 charging plug but are currently mostly software-locked.

This heated competition for the top spot is only good news for Australian motorists, who will benefit from thousands of new charging locations in the next few years, helping to reduce the dreaded 'range anxiety' which can come with EV ownership.