UPDATE: As of March 30, 2017, The BMW and Westfield charging stations have now been officially opened to the public. This story was originally published on December 13 and is unchanged.
Dec 13, 2016: BMW Australia has partnered with shopping centre network Westfield to offer electric vehicle charging stations at 10 locations across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
The stations, installed by Chargepoint, will be free to use for any EV drivers and not just owners of electrified BMW models.
But, as with all ChargePoint locations, the stations will only be compatible with electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles that use the single-phase J1772 connector standard – known colloquially as ‘Type 1’ – that forms the standard in the US and, for most EVs, in Australia.
Although that includes most electrified cars available in Australia – including those offered by BMW, Nissan, Porsche, Mercedes, Volvo and Mitsubishi – it excludes Tesla and Renault‘s trial EVs, both using the faster three-phase Type 2 standard common in the European market.
The stations will offer Level 2 charging, which, depending on the vehicle, can add around 18 to 40 kilometres of driving range for every hour it is plugged in.
More future EVs are likely to move to Type 2 or faster charge types, although it remains to be seen if – and how quickly – Australian infrastructure will develop to keep pace.
Likewise, manufacturers not inclined to offer their own Tesla Supercharger-like charging network may choose not to offer a Type 2 EV here if the infrastructure is not sufficient to accommodate the vehicle’s needs – although increasing driving range would, for many buyers, diminish the need for destination charging in day-to-day driving.
Participating Westfield centres include those in Bondi Junction, Chatswood, Miranda, Sydney and Warringah Mall (NSW), Doncaster and Southland (Vic), Carindale and Chermside (Qld).
Elsewhere in the world of EVs, Tesla is celebrating the establishment of its 200th ‘Destination Charging’ location, with two Tesla High Power Wall Connectors installed at Fox Creek Wines in the South Australia town of McLaren Vale.
The milestone comes around two years since the first Model S EVs were delivered in Australia.
“With the 200th Destination Charging location operational, three new Supercharging sites announced and the fourth Tesla store opened in Chadstone just a couple of months ago, Tesla has shown it is not waiting for other parties to fulfil the requirements of its current and future owners,” the company said in a statement.
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