Why the ACT is the EV charging station capital of Australia

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It is clear that there has been significant growth in Electric Vehicles (EVs) sold in Australia last year, with the country doubling its sales in 2023, compared to 2022. The number of EVs on Australian roads now exceeds 180,000. Out of all the states and territories in Australia, The Australian Capital Territory remains the top state for EV charging stations. In 2023, the ACT further extended its lead within the EV market share surpassing 20% of all cars sold being EVs, hence earning the title of EV charging station capital of Australia.

Integration with Renewable Energy:

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is self-governed in the southeast of Australia, home to Australia’s capital city, Canberra. With a commitment to reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change, the territory government has developed a number of strategies to implement to fight and reverse these issues. A goal of one of these strategies is to phase out all emissions by 2045. This goal will be achieved through the ACT Government’s Climate Change Strategy which began in 2019 and will continue to 2025. Their aim by 2025 is to have reduced emissions by 50-60%. Displaying their commitment to reducing carbon emissions by 2025, the Government has further funded the installation of new charging stations.

Strategic Infrastructure Investment:

Following government initiatives, over 160 public charging stations are operating in the ACT. With an aim to have at least 180 public charging stations by 2025, this funding and installation further promote the integration of EVs within the ACT. These stations are currently placed in strategic areas such as near shopping centres, workplaces, or key transit bus routes. This alleviates the pressure for EV users to find a charger and ensures it is in a convenient and accessible place. To further incentivise local clubs to install EV chargers, the government has funded rebates to those who install and upgrade the sustainability of their premises. Fast charging bays have also been installed at the Royal Australian Mint, as a part of the government’s EV charging fund. This saw three new DC chargers installed allowing up to six EVs to charge simultaneously.

Progressive Government Policies:

Another attributing reason for the success of the ACT’s lead in EVs sold, is the progressive government policies that have been implemented recently. The ACT remains a proactive territory in the promotion of EVs through various incentives. An example of one of these incentives is the discount on registration of EVs purchased between 24 May 2021 and 30 June 2024. This incentive offers drivers 2 years free registration for purchasing a zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV), therefore contributing to reducing carbon emissions through encouraging more individuals to purchase EVs over a traditional car. Another major scheme that benefits EV buyers is the Sustainable Household Scheme, which is available to eligible homeowners. This scheme offers a loan of up to $15,000 interest-free for homeowners to invest in sustainable products for the home; such as an EV. This scheme has further promoted the purchases of EVs within the ACT, thus contributing to the success and the increase in market share of EVs by the ACT.

Continuing the transition to a zero emissions future, Transport Canberra has set a timeframe to achieve this goal by 2040. This will be achieved through their Zero-emissions transition plan which will see Transport Canberra change all transport systems that are currently powered by fossil fuels to 100% renewable energy. Currently, they have achieved this by 20% with the introduction of light rails. To further increase the transition towards a zero emissions future the integration of EV public charging stations within public transport hubs is recommended. This will encourage multimodal transport options for EV users as there is currently no place for EV users to recharge.

Integration of Solar Charging:

With 100% of electricity in the ACT coming from renewable sources such as solar and wind generators, the ACT is now funding solar for multi-unit apartments. This funding will help install solar panels in a number of multi-unit apartments, therefore decreasing energy bills and ensuring happy residents. With the installation of solar panels, residents who drive EVs will now be able to switch to solar-powered EV chargers, further reducing their energy bills. The Ocular IQ Solar is an example of a great load management system that can sense energy limitations in your home and adjust the charging speed to avoid overloading your electrical supply.

Collaboration with Utilities:

Since 2022, utility company ActewAGL has partnered with EV virtual dealership Vyro in collaboration for a faster rollout of EVs, improving accessibility for consumers. As the demand for EVs increases, ActewAGL have decided to partner with Vyro and have secured an exclusive supply of EVs to sell to customers in the ACT and surrounding areas. Their new online evHub provides a service to help customers find, finance, and charge their EVs. This collaboration has further promoted the virtual dealership and has made EVs more accessible to the community, allowing customers to purchase new and used EVs from over six different brands in just a few minutes.

These factors have created a conducive environment for EV infrastructures within the Australian Capital Territory. They have further promoted the increase of EV purchases among the ACT public and led to the increase in market share of EVs sold. These factors have therefore made the ACT a major leader in the EV industry and has been named the capital for EV charging stations within Australia.

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