Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Funding boost to drive uptake of future fuel technologies

The Federal Government has moved to expand Australia’s fast charging network for battery electric vehicles (EVs) by providing funding for new chargers across metropolitan and regional Australia to drive uptake of EVs and support consumer choice.

Five companies will receive a share in close to $25 million under round one of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Future Fuels Fund, delivering a total of $79.9 million of investment into Australia’s fast charging network.

The funding will accelerate the roll out of fast charging stations across all capital cities and key regional centres, including Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Gold Coast. Each regional location will receive a minimum of eight new stations. 

The successful applicants are:

  • Evie Networks: $8.85 million (across eight regions); 
  • Ampol Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd: $7.05 million (across four regions); 
  • Engie: $6.85 million (across four regions); 
  • Chargefox Pty Ltd: $1.4 million (across two regions); and 
  • Electric Highways Tasmania Pty Ltd: $0.4 million (across one region).

The five successful applicants will deliver a total of 403 new stations, all powered by renewable energy and capable of charging at least two vehicles concurrently at 50 kilowatts or above. This represents a sevenfold increase in the number of public fast charging stations across these regions.

The Government initially announced funding of up to $16.5 million under round one, but this has been increased to $24.55 million due to the strong field of applicants, the Government said in a statement today.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor said the funding was needed to help motorists embrace the increasing range of technologies available.

“The Government is focused on ensuring Australians can drive their preferred choice of vehicle – be that petrol, diesel, hydrogen or electric-powered,” Minister Taylor said. 

“Projects funded under the Future Fuels Fund will significantly expand Australia’s fast charging network, providing broader coverage, reducing range anxiety and minimising blackspots,” he said.

“As industry works to make electric vehicle technology more affordable, it is important we have the infrastructure in place that empowers consumers to switch to new fuel technologies with confidence.” 

The $71.9 million Future Fuels Fund, announced in the 2020-21 Budget, is a key plank in the Government’s Future Fuels Strategy. The Strategy will drive the creation of an environment that enables consumer choice, stimulates industry development and reduces emissions in the road transport sector. 

More information on the outcomes of round one of the Future Fuels Fund is available at: https://arena.gov.au/funding/future-fuels-fund/  

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