EV Charging Archives - Melbourne EV Show 22-24 Sept 2023

A tale of (driving between) two cities (in an EV)

John Sullivan, the CEO of Chargefox – Australia’s largest EV charging network, recently drove his EV from Melbourne to Adelaide and back, aiming to address some common concerns about EVs and long-distance travel while demonstrating the practicality of EV road trips. 

Many potential EV buyers fret over long-distance travel, wondering if it’s feasible. While I’ve never shared this concern, I do understand it. As the CEO of a national company, I have the privilege of traveling across Australia, engaging with customers, visiting charging sites, and conversing with drivers. Recently, I embarked on a journey from Melbourne to Adelaide in my EV, the first of many such drives. I documented my experiences in the hope of dispelling these concerns. 

Melbourne to Adelaide in an EV with Chargefox CEO John Sullivan

I started my trip at 6:30 am with a battery top-up Bayside City Council – my local Chargefox charging station. My Tesla showed a range of about 400 kilometres, while Google Maps estimated the Melbourne to Adelaide route at 740 kilometres, taking eight and a half hours. Planning was crucial, considering factors like temperature, wind, and traffic that can impact an EV’s range. 

With the Chargefox network at my disposal, I was confident in finding charging stations along the way. I also used Plugshare and A Better Routeplanner for more options. This planning eased concerns about running out of charge during the journey. 

The first leg was from Melbourne to Horsham, a 313-kilometer drive. Initial calculations indicated a 34% charge upon arrival, but rapidly decreasing range due to the cold reminded me of the weather’s impact on efficiency. I reached Horsham with just 1% charge left, realising I probably should’ve topped up earlier. (Lesson learnt!) 

In Horsham, I used a Chargefox 350kW charger, costing $35, while enjoying a coffee and an interview with a journalist. Then, I drove to Keith, 220 kilometres away, experimenting with cruise control and benefiting from rising temperatures which helped battery range. At Keith, I charged for $25.

With both car and driver recharged, I drove to Adelaide CBD, around 220 kilometres. I passed Murray Bridge, another charging station, with enough range to make it to Adelaide. The trip took around ten hours, aligning with Google’s estimate. 

The return journey was smooth, with strategic stops for charging, coffee breaks, and chats with fellow EV drivers. My conclusions: 

  • Charging Infrastructure: Ample charging stations make it easy to avoid getting stranded. A few minutes of route planning is essential. 
  • Trust the planning, not the range: Don’t solely rely on the displayed range; overplan charging stops and have backups. 
  • Cost-efficiency: Long-distance EV travel is cost-effective, halving fuel costs compared to a petrol car. 

My journey shows that EV road trips are practical, thanks to planning and robust charging infrastructure. 

Come and say hi to me and the rest of the Chargefox team at the Melbourne EV show. We can’t wait to see you all!

What you need to know about transitioning to an EV

After some initial hesitation, the future is starting to look greener for EVs in Australia. A recent survey by CEDA showed that 42% of participants would buy an EV for their next purchase. The federal government passed a bill to make electric vehicles provided by employers to employees more affordable, while state governments are installing more public charging stations around the country. 

With more EV makes and models being released and government legislation to help make these sustainable dreams a reality, now is a great time to trade in your petrol guzzler for an electric alternative. But how exactly do you do that? 

We’ve broken down what you need to know about costs, charging and how we can help make your switch to an EV easier. 

A wide range of rides 

The number of electric vehicle makes and models available in Australia is rising. The Electric Vehicle Council reported that 8.4% of all new cars sold as at June 2023 have been EV’s, more than double compared to all of 2022. You can already choose EVs from popular brands such as Hyundai, Mazda, Kia and Tesla, and with more companies entering the market, there will be a bigger range of price points that make it much easier to find an EV that fits your sense of style – and budget.

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So, how do you pick the right one for you? One way to make sure you love your new car is to try it out with an EV subscription. An electric car subscription takes away a lot of the guesswork – and can help get you behind the wheel of an electric vehicle with fewer questions and more excitement.

Plugging into the future of driving 

With tech improvements, and government and fuel company commitments to add charging stations around the country, powering up your electric vehicle is also becoming easier – both at home and on the go. 

Most EVs come with an adapter that lets you charge your electric vehicle using a standard outlet. But if you’re looking for a faster way to get powered up and back on the road with confidence daily, you can have a home smart charger installed. 

Regardless of how you decide to charge at home, an AGL EV Electricity plan can help you keep your vehicle juiced up for less. 

AGL has also partnered with bp pulse to make charging on the go simple, accessible, and affordable. 

Busting EV range myths 

These days, electric vehicles are better equipped to handle long days of work, road tripping and running errands. 

Think about what you really use your car for day in and day out. How long is the drive to work, kids’ sports or the shops? Do some rough maths, then take the kilometre range of the vehicle you’re looking at (or if you’re not sure yet, you could take 353km which is the estimated average range of  EVs globally) – and divide this by your estimated average daily travel distance. That should give you a rough idea of how often you’ll have to charge. Several car manufacturers offer ‘long range’ versions of their EV models and there several popular models available in Australia with ranges of more than 450km. That’s a lot of road! 

Planning to hit the highway with your friends and family on a road trip? You can easily map out your route to ensure you hit a public charging station along the way, and if you’re driving a Tesla, the inbuilt GPS navigation will work it out for you which makes planning super simple! Some of the best EV chargers feature speedy Direct Current (DC) charging – with some models jumping from 20% to 80% charge in just 15 minutes – that can have you rolling along again by the time you’ve finished lunch.

Do the maths on making the switch 

Buying a new car is always a big financial decision, but when it comes to electric vehicles, there are some additional considerations aside from just the price tag. Electric vehicles are generally more cost-effective to run, and these savings can help to offset the initial upfront cost. 

Perhaps the most obvious way electric vehicles can save you money on running costs is by reducing how often you need to fill up at the petrol station (in the case of a plugin hybrid) – or eliminating it altogether! While you’ll still need to pay for charging, this is typically far less costly. Your exact savings will vary based on a range of factors, including petrol and energy prices, but you can use this calculator to estimate how much you could save. 

For example, let’s say you wanted to travel 100km. The average EV will generally require about 15kWh of electricity to charge the battery enough to cover that distance. If you could charge your EV at a rate of $8c/kWh (a great low overnight rate currently offered by one EV Energy plan), that comes out to about $1.20. Compare that with the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics report that says Australians use an average of 11.1 litres of petrol to cover 100km. With petrol costing an average of 188/litre in the week ending 30 July 2023 according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum, you’d have to spend around $20.86 to drive your 100km. That’s quite a bit of potential savings through electric. 

Another way that EVs are expected to be more cost-effective to run is by requiring fewer trips to the mechanic. Electric vehicles typically have fewer internal components than petrol-fuelled vehicles, meaning less need for regular servicing and fewer parts that may need replacing. What this could mean in terms of savings over a 5 or 10 year period is very difficult to predict or quantify, but it is another factor to keep in mind. 

Transitioning to an electric vehicle might be easier than you think. AGL has the experience to help you navigate this process.

Content for this sponsored article provided by AGL

bp pulse continues rapid EV charging rollout in Australia

bp launched its global electrification brand ‘bp pulse’ in Australia in November 2022.

The launch is the commencement of bp’s ambitions for around 600 charge points in Australia and to build the country’s most convenient fast-charging EV network and customer experience.

The introduction of bp pulse means Australia will be part of bp’s ambition to install more than 100,000 EV chargers globally, helping to accelerate the transition to zero tailpipe emissions vehicles.

Bernard Looney, bp CEO said: “It’s brilliant to get bp pulse underway in Australia, delivering a high-speed, high-quality charging experience to help accelerate the transition to electric vehicles.

The initial rollout will see chargers installed at key metropolitan and regional bp retail locations along Australia’s east coast where EV drivers can also take advantage of bp’s outstanding food and drinks range.

Frédéric Baudry, president, bp Australia and SVP fuels & low carbon solutions, Asia Pacific, said: “We want to provide our customers with a fantastic experience and meet their needs, irrespective of their choice of mobility.

“We will be on the journey with them through this decade and beyond with growing numbers of fast, reliable chargers at convenient locations with great retail options, whether they want to eat, drink or shop.”

bp is backing Australian businesses too, with Brisbane-based manufacturer Tritium supplying the chargers as part of a multi-year contract to deliver for bp’s UK, Australian and New Zealand markets.

Each Tritium charger has two connectors and can charge two vehicles simultaneously. In 2023, new and existing chargers will be connected to high power grid connections that will enable fast charging.

The electrification of mobility is part of bp’s commitment to becoming a net zero company by 2050. bp supports broader measures to reach net zero including the Australian federal government’s target of 43% emissions reduction by 2030.

To stay up to date with bp pulse and new rapid EV charging locations, visit the bp pulse website or download the bp pulse app.