Australia's electric vehicle charging infrastructure is set to get a boost, with the Australian-based Evie Networks planning to link major capital cities with a network of 42 ultra-fast charge stations.
The proposal includes a network of 80 individual charge points linking Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, and will also include stations near Perth. Should it get off the ground, the company claims the network would be Australia's largest of ultra-fast charge sites.
Evie plans to compete with a number of infrastructure providers, including Australia's motoring clubs, and private companies such as rival Chargefox.
Chargefox plans to have 22 fast-charge sites open before the end of 2019, linking Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide as part of its Australian Renewable Energy Agency-backed network, while the NRMA has 15 fast charge sites across New South Wales and Canberra.
"The NRMA believes it has a key role to play in leading the transition to electric vehicles, but the more companies who invest in this essential infrastructure the better," said Peter Khoury, communications boss at the NRMA, which plans to have 30 charge stations running before the end of 2019.
Chargefox took a similar approach, welcoming "the addition of new charging infrastructure operators into the Australian market".
"For the mass adoption of EVs there needs to be a lot more investment in the sector and are glad that our commitment to the market has encouraged others to do the same," Marty Andrews, Chargefox CEO, told CarAdvice.
Queensland also has an electric-car charging network, linking Coolangatta with Cairns through 17 stations, while Tesla has 29 of its own 'Supercharger' stations around Australia, but they're only usable by Tesla Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles.
Evie Networks says its stations will be supplied by Queensland company Tritium, and Evie Networks the energy used to power them will be "100 per cent green".
The company plans to use 350kW chargers at its highway sites, capable of delivering 350km of driving range in just 15 minutes. They're the same chargers being used on the Ionity network being rolled out across European highways.
Using an app, EV owners will be able to track how many plugs are free at each charge station using network monitoring technology from a Californian company called EV Connect.
Funding for the project has come from the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund, founded by an executive with a history in the NSW and Queensland Electricity Commissions.
It has previously helped fund Tritium, the company supplying Evie its chargers, among other "developing disruptive products in the clean energy sector".
"For Australia to fully realise all the benefits of EVs, we have to reduce range and charging anxiety by giving drivers access to charging and information about chargers, no matter where they travel,” EV Connect's CEO said.