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NRMA’s electric vehicle fast charging network in NSW is gaining momentum – two chargers under construction with more on the way

A representative from the NRMA discussed their plans for an EV DC fast charging network at an Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) meeting yesterday.

I went along – and we now have a lot more detail about what they are up to.

We covered their original announcement last year, which was full of promises, but light on detail (no criticism intended – these things take time).

Here’s a short video of the project from NRMA:

Planned NRMA Charging Locations

There are currently two chargers under construction in Newcastle and Jindabyne. These are expected to be open within a few months as understandably, Jindabyne council wants their charger live before the winter rush.

Other locations were discussed, but no specific locations are yet decided:

  • South Coast: Berry, Batemans Bay and Bega were specifically mentioned
  • West: Dubbo, Orange, Mudgee and Bathurst were specifically mentioned
  • North Coast: the area was discussed but no specific places mentioned, although it would probably be town centres (Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Byron, etc)

The chargers are going to be a maximum of 150km apart, but most will be less than this. They are using a Hyundai Ioniq as a test vehicle as a range guide, and all chargers will be within town centres, not motorway rest stops, so people are able to do things while waiting for a charge.

It was mentioned that their network is targeted at those undertaking trips, and not primarily for local charging.

Charger Specifications

The charging units will be from Tritium, the same as is currently installed at their Homebush office. They will offer with CCS2 and Chademo connectors (their Homebush charger is actually CCS1, but is being upgraded at some stage to CCS2).

These units will be 50kw to begin with but they have mentioned plans to upgrade to 150kw+ in the future as things change.

Usage

Chargers will be live-monitored by NRMA to ensure they’re active and NRMA members can charge for free by using a mobile app to login their account.

Non-NRMA members will be prompted to enter their credit card details to pay for the service.

In the event that the charger loses network access, the charger will be programmed to unlock completely to allow charging incase of a network failure.

All chargers will source power from renewable energy providers.

Parking Spaces:

There will also be parking spaces dedicated to electric vehicles. The spaces will be reverse or nose in only to allow different connector types and with no parallel parking.

All signage for these spaces will read:

“No Parking, with exception of electric vehicles while charging.”

These signs are official RMS signage and therefore can be lawfully enforced with fines from the local council.

Summing up

This was some great detail from the NRMA and shows their plans are not just talk – we’ll see a real charging network rolling out across NSW from this year.

This is a big and significant step towards addressing one of the biggest hurdles in the widespread adoption of EVs in Australia – with growing charging networks in most states. More please!

* Feature image courtesy of NRMA

Rohan is obsessed with technology, renewables and all things Elon Musk & drives a Tesla Model S.