Thanks to the Author of this report, Richard McNeall from Sydney, for his fantastic efforts in coordinating this project.
Electric Vehicle Charging* BEFORE (March 2016) and NOW (June 2018)
* Sites with a charging rate of 100km or more of range per hour of charging. DC fast chargers in orange.
Note: The Round Australia Electric Highway and all other electric vehicle charging in Australia is fully documented on plugshare.com which is the recognised accepted electric vehicle charging database/map for Australia. Select Oceania and filter the plug types of interest. The plug types in Australia that can give at least 100km of charge in an hour are:
- Three Phase – the focus of this project
- CHAdeMO or CCS (DC fast charger – shown in orange) depending on your vehicle type
- Supercharger (DC fast charger – shown in orange) for Teslas only
- Type 2
- Tesla Destination Charger
- To complete the Electric Highway round Australia, and Red Centre, usable by all electric vehicles, to a minimum available charge rate of 100km of range per hour of charging (70 km/h on a limited number of pre-existing sites) at a maximum spacing of 300km (200km average).
- To do this in the shortest possible time, creating a route that can be driven RIGHT NOW.
- To promote and encourage electric vehicles to use the Round Australia Electric Highway, dispelling myths about the range and capability of electric vehicles.
- To provide a way to get “into the loop” on electric vehicle charging at minimal time, effort and expense, avoiding being one of the sites that gets “left behind”.
- See “TOCA / AEVA OFFER TO PROPERTY OWNERS” below.
- To develop interaction and understanding of electric vehicle customers and their patterns and needs.
Electric Vehicle Owners
- To encourage the enjoyment of exploring Australia by electric vehicle.
- To maximise visibility and understanding of electric vehicles, and their capabilities, across the country.
- 2015 – Electric Vehicle Charging limited to an incomplete east Coast route, and SW Western Australia
- 2016 – The Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA) WA undertakes to create electric vehicle charging routes from Perth to Adelaide and Perth to Broome.
- 2017 – The Tesla Owners Club of Australia (TOCA) and the Australian Electric Vehicle Association jointly resolve to complete the Electric Highway round Australia, and later the Red Centre, usable by all electric vehicles, to a minimum available charge rate of 100km of range per hour of charging (or 70 km/h on a limited number of pre-existing sites). The first (and still only) time a Round Australia electric vehicle route has been contemplated.
- 2018 – As of May 2018 the Round Australia Electric Highway is complete around Australia to 400km max spacing, and only 4 sites off 300km max spacing (200 average). The Red Centre route is 100% driveable, with slow charging still at 2 points, and full completion by the end of 2018.
THE 32 AMP 3 PHASE OUTLET – BACKBONE OF 10,000km OF INTERSTATE HIGHWAYS
The 32 amp 3 phase network is AEVA and TOCA’s main contribution. Close to 17,000km of route has been mapped, charging access discussed with every site, and outlets provided where not existing. Over 10,000km of outback interstate routes are based on the Australian 32 amp 3 phase outlet, including the Nullarbor, Stuart Highway and Top End where there are very few other charger types – see map. Reasons for using the Australian 32 amp 3 phase outlet are:
- Usable by all electric vehicles (unlike some dedicated EV chargers), using a 3 phase charging cable.
- Easy to find on plugshare.com .
- Has an available charge rate of over 100km of charge per hour (limited only by the maximum charge rate of the vehicle and charging cable) which delivers the maximum AC charge rate usable by all types of electric vehicle sold or projected to be sold in Australia.
- Just as much power delivery as any other AC electric vehicle charger
- Note that a handful of legacy 20 amp 3 phase sites remain with a max charging rate of 70km/h.
- Available at many pre-existing sites including showgrounds and roadhouses.
- Is an immediately deployable option. Just mount it on the side of a convenient electrical box. Avoid (initially anyway) proposing an elaborate solution which will get rejected on capex.
- Simple and super reliable, containing no electronics (unlike more sophisticated electric vehicle chargers that can have a higher failure rate than you might expect).
- Cheap and (for certain sites) free from TOCA / AEVA.
- Forward compatible to any other AC charger. Future more sophisticated AC electric vehicle chargers (Type 2 and Tesla Destination) can be plugged into the outlet without loss of power.
The Australian 32 amp 3 phase outlet.
(Currently 32 amp 3 phase locations span a total of 10,000km of gaps where there are few or no electric vehicle chargers of other types)
* Shown are types (other than 3 phase outlet) capable of delivering 100km/h or more. DC fast chargers in orange.
TOCA / AEVA OFFER TO PROPERTY OWNERS
This Electric Highway project is all about getting a usable charging route in place right now ! ! !
- TOCA and AEVA will give a 32 amp 3 phase electrical outlet free to any site which will help build the Round Australia and Red Centre routes to distance intervals of 300km max, and additionally key Red Centre destinations.
- The property owner must install it reasonably promptly at an accessible location, and agree to let electric vehicles charge there.
- TOCA and AEVA will list these sites, and any pre-existing or self-supplied sites that also agree, on plugshare.com, the accepted charging map for Australia.
- In WA, Synergy and Horizon are sponsoring 3 phase outlets on the route.
DC FAST CHARGERS – QUICK DAYLIGHT CHARGING
DC Fast Chargers convert mains AC into battery-friendly DC at a high rate. AEVA and TOCA do not fund these.
- Find them on plugshare.com or the provider’s website.
- Full charge in typically 1 -2 hours (charging rate 250 to 500 km/h).
- Excellent for fast daylight charging on a long trip when the vehicle’s overnight charge is not enough.
- No advantage for overnight charging. Better with an AC charger right at the accommodation site.
- Typically $100K+ per installation including site works, but costs are starting to come down.
- Mainly deployed in networks e.g. Tesla, ACT, Ergon Qld, RAC WA, NRMA NSW (soon) and more coming
- Note that an isolated DC fast charger in your site or town will encourage quick day stops rather than overnighting.
DC Fast Chargers (CCS and CHAdeMO) not associated with any make of vehicle
- You need to registered with one of the networks (ACT, RAC WA, NRMA) or Ergon Qld is presently free.
- They all have a CHAdeMO cable on one side and a CCS cable on the other.
- Teslas require a CHAdeMO adapter.
- CCS has 2 types – CCS1 and CCS2 with a progressive standardisation towards CCS2
- Typically up to 250km/h charge rate, depending on what the vehicle can take, and how full it is (tapering).
- Teslas only
- Network growing rapidly
- Up to 500km/h charging rate, tapering from about 50% battery charge
OTHER AC CHARGERS DELIVERING AT LEAST 100km RANGE / HOUR OF CHARGE
There are two other charger types, other than the 32 amp 3 phase outlet that also provide 32 amp 3 phase power to electric vehicles. As before locations of these are documented on plugshare.com which has the ability to filter the outlet type being displayed.
The Type 2 (Mennekes) Charger
This is the up-and-coming AC standard for public electric vehicle charging.
- Delivers exactly the same charging rate as a 32 amp 3 phase outlet.
- More convenient for the driver than a three phase outlet as it has the electric vehicle communications in the box on the wall, not in the cable.
- Comes in 2 varieties:
- With a built in charging cable (most convenient but more vulnerable to vandalism in unsupervised places)
- As a socket where the driver needs a Type 2 to Type 2 cable to connect to the car. Either bring the cable yourself, or some properties will have a loan cable.
- Expensive $2K+ excluding installation, and nobody is subsidising these to property owners. This explains why there are not many of them. In WA and Qld they are backups to DC fast chargers.
- Less reliable than the 32 amp 3 phase outlet as they contain complex electronics. A factor in remote areas. You can always plug them into a 32 amp 3 phase outlet giving a backup solution.
- They are very nice and a slick substitute for the 32 amp 3 phase outlet, especially for major cities, but not any faster, and don’t really add value on outback routes where the rest of the route is 3 phase anyway.
The Tesla Destination Charger
This is a Tesla-specific charger with a Type 2 connection and a built in charging cable.
- Tesla supplies them free to qualifying “destinations” i.e. motels, eating places, attractions etc (not roadhouses) in certain areas. The Nullarbor, Stuart Highway and road across the Top End are not being looked at by Tesla at present.
- Properties generally pay for installation themselves.
- Delivers exactly the same charging rate as a 32 amp 3 phase outlet.
- Very convenient for Teslas, and their location comes up on the car’s screen.
- Tesla says they are only for Teslas, but people have tried them with other vehicles. Tesla are bringing in versions that lock out non-Teslas.
- Less reliable than the 32 amp 3 phase outlet as they contain complex electronics. A factor in remote areas. You can always plug them into a 32 amp 3 phase outlet giving a backup. This will also give a non-Tesla solution.
SLOWER CHARGING OPTIONS
Note that electric vehicles can also charge from domestic 10 amp and caravan park 15 amp (single phase) plugs. These are useful for going “off the beaten track” and for bridging gaps in the 3 phase AC charging route, but are not suited as points on the charging route itself because of their slow charging rate of 10 or 15 km of range per hour, which can result in charging times of 24 to 40 hours for a long range electric vehicle.
There is also the Type 1 (J1772) charging point which is gradually being phased out in Australia, mostly close to capital cities, with a maximum charge rate of about 40km of range per hour. It suits the 2012-2017 Nissan Leaf, pre-2018 BMW I3, and early Mitsubishi Imiev. The Type 1 is not needed for vehicles with a range of 200km or more.
YOUR NEXT STEP
- If you are a “destination” i.e. motel, eating place, attraction etc (roadhouses are not), first see if you qualify in an area where Tesla are providing Destination Chargers. The Nullarbor, Stuart Highway and road across the Top End are not being looked at by Tesla at present. If successful, cover all electric vehicle types by doing one of the following:
- In remote areas, plug the Destination Charger into a 3 phase outlet or even better provide 3 phase outet(s) separately (quite a few WA coast sites have done one of these), OR
- In more populated areas, provide a separate Type 2 charger (Mirvac are doing this round Sydney) depending on cost benefit!
If you have a suitable property with great access to be part of a Fast DC charging network by Tesla, NRMA etc then definitely check that out. Very few sites are suitable. The Nullarbor, Stuart Highway and road across the Top End are not being looked at by Tesla at present.
- At minimum get a 32 amp 3 phase outlet and put it in, maybe taking advantage of our “TOCA / AEVA OFFER TO PROPERTY OWNERS” above !
Electric Vehicle Owners
- Get a 3 phase charging cable, a CHAdeMO adapter (for Teslas visiting Qld and WA), and whatever else is required (see TOCA charging page and plugshare.com, and speak with those who have travelled) and head off into or around Australia, and enjoy it !
Sylvia has done it. So can you !
WE CAN HELP !
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help get you up and running:
- Eastern States including SA (excl Nullarbor) and NT – Richard McNeall
- WA and Nullarbor – David Lloyd