Charging stations for electric cars mapped in Queensland

ERGON Energy has mapped its network for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations from Toowoomba to Cairns bringing the electric car super highway another step closer.

Around 100 sites with surplus capacity have been identified and Ergon is already speaking with companies who provide EV charging station infrastructure.

Up to 60 charging stations could be purchased which would be used to charge Ergon's EV fleet Ergon's fleet and be made available for charging privately owned EVs as well.

"As the EV market develops in the eastern seaboard capital cities, we believe it will develop in regional Queensland cities from Toowoomba to Cairns and with it the need for public and private charging infrastructure," Senior Network Strategy and Policy Engineer Don McPhail said.

While the focus of our mapping has been to identify surplus capacity, it's also part of an interactive program of Australia's electricity grid which will help identify the most valuable locations to invest in renewable energy and demand management within the national grid.

Image of a map of Queensland with coastal cities ringed to show possible locations EV charging centres.

Ergon Energy has mapped a charging station highway from Toowoomba to Cairns, including stops at Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Mackay.
Ergon Energy has mapped a charging station highway from Toowoomba to Cairns, including stops at Bundaberg, Rockhampton and Mackay.

 

The mapping by a team of graduate engineers has been detailed.

"They meticulously drilled right down to individual suburban transformers to identify locations that have surplus capacity knowing the EV market and the need for public and private charging points is going to grow. That will translate into an increase in the demand for power.

"So we'd rather better utilise our existing assets as potential EV charging point sites rather than upgrade the network at considerable cost which puts upward pressure on electricity prices," he said.

And it's not just about EV charging locations or surplus capacity Don said, it's also about EV driving range and "range anxiety" as we found in Ergon's Townsville EV trial.

"In mapping our network, we also considered the driving range of fast charge capable vehicles like Teslas. We've identified how far apart the charging stations need to be along the Bruce Highway so drivers could get from one to the next and that they overlap.

"Based on a driving range of about 400 kilometres and network mapping, we've identified it would be possible to have charging stations along the Bruce Highway at the major coastal communities all the way to Cairns.

"Armed with this information we're already talking with industry and state government parties about potential EV charging sites or locations that have surplus capacity. Our aim is also to lower the cost for them to connect to our network and these sites might just do that," he said.

Tesla is also expanding its charging network in Australia with plans to extend it north to Brisbane from Sydney.

Ergon Engery is interested in feedback. If you would like to comment on this article please contact talkingenergy@ergon.com.au



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