50 power poles across Sydney mounted with EV chargers in ARENA-backed project


A number of densely populated areas of Sydney and the Hunter Region will have 22 kW pole mounted electric vehicle (EV) chargers energised before the year is out, as part of Intellihub’s EV Streetside Charging project, which attracted $871,000 (USD 565,00) in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The $2.04 million project to install EV chargers on public power poles is being rolled out by smart meter and infrastructure-as-a-service company, Intellihub, owned by private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners’ Group.

The first charger was energised today in Sydney’s Wolli Creek and chargers have also gone live in Lane Cove and St Leonards in Sydney’s north and at Maroubra, Coogee and North Bondi in Sydney’s east.

Another 41 EV chargers are being installed in St George, Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Northern Beaches regions, and the Lake Macquarie and Singleton regions in the Hunter Valley. These will progressively come online by the end of the year, Intellihub says.

The 22 kW EV chargers, supplied by Schneider Electric, all connect to the Ausgrid electricity network with Origin Energy providing accredited GreenPower for the project.

“EV drivers will be able to book a charging session, and then simply drive up, park and charge,”Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said of the public infrastructure. “A two hour charging session will typically provide enough charge for around 200 kilometres of driving.” No information has been provided on cost.

ARENA backed the trial to help expand knowledge around the regulatory and commercial barriers for public EV charging, as well as uptake by EV owners across different locations and incentives. Intellihub also says the project will help research into vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology by tracking impacts on the electricity network.

“Around 9% of all new car sales in Australia are now electric vehicles, and in some areas of Sydney the rates of EV adoption are double the national average,” Ballantine said.

This 9% rate is two and half times more than it was this time last year, showing Australia’s uptake has accelerated dramatically. Be that as it may, most people living in apartments, terraces and other high-density residences do not have off-street parking and cannot install EV charging infrastructure.

“A lack of charging infrastructure is a challenge to the uptake of EVs, with a quarter of Australian households currently unable to charge from home because they don’t have access to off-street parking,” Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said.

“By 2030, most experts expect that there will be more than one million electric vehicles on Australian roads,” Intellihub’s Ballantine added.

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