Evie Networks is one of the largest open public electric vehicle charging networks in Australia and the only fast charging network with sites in every state and territory.
Over the past fortnight they have completed new sites in Norwood (SA), Lutwysch and West End (QLD), Marrara (NT) and Tralagon (VIC).
In terms of what’s next, Evie Networks next sites to open include Newcastle (NSW) to support highway travel north, Kingston in Canberra (ACT) and Darwin CBD (NT).
I asked Evie Networks what happens in the background from beginning to end of activating a new charging location and Geoff Brady, Chief Operating Officer, Evie Networks replied as follows below. The photos are mine, taken during EV driving trips.
Identifying a new charging site
“The first step of the process is identifying a new charging site. Evie Networks is focused on bringing convenient charging to every state and territory across the country and a large part of this is installing chargers on major travel routes, so over time drivers are no more than 5 minutes from fast charging locations”.
“As we plan this out, we examine metrics such as population and traffic profiles to identify suitable locations for public charging”
“Unlike filling a car with petrol, EV drivers often incorporate charging into their day-to-day activities. As such, Evie Networks often looks for location features that champion customer accessibility and safety, as well as having something for drivers to do in the vicinity for 20 – 40 minutes while they charge”.
“Evie Networks works closely with stakeholders across key categories including major shopping centres, councils and retail brands right across the country to support this experience”.
Acquiring a new charging site
“Building high-powered charging sites requires a level of expertise across a range of disciplines, including property, power, construction and infrastructure operations”.
“Initially, Evie Networks will work collaboratively with the properties operational staff to find a suitable site design”.
“Once the solution and location are finalised, Evie Networks will then work collaboratively with power networks to understand the electrical and energy requirements on the site. This is often based on the charging solution designed and may incorporate some sophisticated elements including dynamic software control and energy solutions where power constraints are experienced. This part of the process can take a significant amount of time”.
“Once power connections have been finalised, installation of chargers will require often 2-4 weeks of onsite work involving cable runs, charger placement and electrical installations, while trying to achieve minimal disruption to the existing site operations”.
“The process doesn’t end once installation occurs. Evie Networks will monitor and provide maintenance all existing chargers, providing a reliable charging experience for drivers and support for property owners”.
I hope that helps explain how your local Evie Networks DC electric car fast charging site was setup. The process for Chargefox will be similar.
Realistically there’s a key first step before the process Geoff describes can even happen, which is raising money from the charging networks financial backers and also quite often also needing to win a government grant to make up the difference and cover costs.
Contrary to often popular opinion setting up new DC fast charging sites is not cheap and there are many upfront costs before even earning 1 cent from customers.
After a site is operational there are ongoing operational and maintenance costs, then *maybe* making a profit if the charging station is utilised enough on average across the year outside of peak holiday periods.