Ampol revs up EV fast charging rollout

Ampol has taken its first major step in the rollout of a national network of electric vehicle fast-charging systems that CEO Matt Halliday says is an important pillar in the petrol and diesel supplier’s lean towards electricity as part of its decarbonisation strategy.

Ampol was one of five companies to share almost $25 million of funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to install fast-charging networks with the aim of speeding up the adoption of electric cars.

The $7.05 million grant to Ampol will cover about a third of the $20 million cost of delivering fast-charging bays at more than 100 sites across the company’s network of petrol stations. The sites will include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth as well as regional centres such as Newcastle, Gold Coast and Geelong.

“We see our retail infrastructure as critical for the uptake of electric vehicles, leveraging those convenience sites and that infrastructure to provide solutions for customers,” Mr Halliday told AFR Weekend.

“It’s that enabling infrastructure that is an important part of the strategy to get people and customers comfortable with purchasing an electric vehicle.“

Ampol’s decarbonisation strategy, unveiled in late May, included a commitment to invest more than $100 million in future energy projects through to 2025 to help achieve a goal to reach net zero operational emissions by 2040.

Ampol will start work on the network this December half, with each site to feature EV chargers powered by renewable energy or made carbon-neutral through offsets. The chargers will be able to charge at a minimum 50 kilowatts, with each site able to charge two vehicles at the same time.

Ampol has yet to select the type of chargers it will use but expects to apply different forms of hardware across the network, with the goal of providing a flexible and high-quality charging service to motorists, Mr Halliday said.

Trevor St Baker’s Evie Networks secured the largest chunk of funding from ARENA’s Future Fuels Fund, of $8.85 million, while France’s Engie, Chargefox and Electric Highways Tasmania also won grants. There will be 403 new charging stations, all powered by renewable energy, representing a sevenfold increase in the number of public fast-charging stations across those areas.

Evie CEO Chris Mills said the company will roll out 158 new sites in the next two years, and intends to deploy more than 300 in total at shopping centres, restaurants and grocery stores to “unchain” EV drivers from travelling to the petrol station to refuel.

Evie has placed a multimillion dollar order with recently listed Tritium, which is also backed by Mr St Baker, for the supply of its fast-charging equipment.

Extracted from AFR

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