Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more common on Tasmanian roads, and as their number increases, so will the benefits to the community.
EVs offer a number of advantages over conventional petrol or diesel engines. They are cheaper to run, quieter and smoother to drive, and have zero emissions when powered from Tasmania’s renewable electricity sources. Some countries have already announced their intention to totally transition to electric-only vehicles by the middle of this century, so this form of vehicle power is certainly not a fad.
As the electric vehicle population grows, so will their availability on the secondhand market, making it easier for people to enjoy the benefits of EV ownership.
New EVs are still comparatively expensive but one of the most significant barriers to their purchase in Tasmania is the absence of fast charging stations that allow more convenient and efficient longer distance travel. There is only one fast charger in Tasmania (located at Paterson Street East car park, 1-15 Paterson Street, Launceston).
We support the installation of public fast charging services, which will in turn encourage people to consider purchasing EVs. We have developed our Electric Vehicle Fast Charger Scheme as an incentive for Tasmanian businesses to install fast charging facilities for electric vehicles. The Scheme has technical advice and cost rebate components.
The need for public EV chargers
Most Tasmanian EV operators charge their vehicles at home overnight using a power point. This is cheap and convenient, although the recharge process generally takes several hours. Another type of EV charger is now being found in public places such as tourism establishments or (for example) Hobart Central car park. These charging units offer just a top-up if staying for a short time. Several hours or an overnight stay are required to achieve full charge.
Information about the different types of EV chargers
A fast charger can achieve a full recharge between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the type of EV. However, there is only one fast charger in Tasmania (located at Paterson Street East car park, 1-15 Paterson Street, Launceston) necessitating overnight stays at suitably equipped establishments for drivers who use their EV for more than urban commuting.
Fast chargers can be expensive to purchase or install, therefore our Electric Vehicle Fast Charger Support Scheme provides assistance to potential fast charger operators. The Scheme comprises a rebate of up to 50% of the cost to increase the operator’s electricity supply capacity to power a fast charger, as well as technical and general advice in the planning stages. This rebate "pool" is capped at $250,000 over 5 years and will be allocated according to certain conditions.
Electric Vehicle Fast Charger Scheme at a glance
Relates to installation of fast chargers, specifically DC fast chargers
Has a funding pool of $250k over 5 years (conditions apply)
TasNetworks is involved because the high power consumption of fast chargers generally requires an increased supply capacity to the customer’s site, and network changes are often required to achieve this. As with all connections of this type, the customer is liable for the costs to make these changes
Two main components - technical advice and a rebate on TasNetworks’ costs in providing the increased power supply capacity to supply DC fast chargers
The technical advice component provides advice about fast chargers in general as well as indicative costs of TasNetworks supply upgrades for a particular site
The connection cost rebate component refunds up to 50% of TasNetworks' charges for providing or upgrading the power supply. Customer pays full cost up-front; TasNetworks pays the rebate once charger(s) are installed and available for public use
Only applies to fast chargers that are available for public use. It does not apply to other types of EV chargers or to private EV chargers
A fast charger typically costs between $30,000 to $35,000. Installation costs are additional
Detailed information and conditions are in the Information Pack
Frequently asked questions
Who is eligible to participate in the scheme?
Anybody who has a connection (or wanting to establish a new connection) to our electricity network may participate. The primary criteria for eligibility include:
The charger must be available for public use
The charger must be a DC fast charger with minimum capacity of 50 kW
The charger must have standard plugs, ensuring it is compatible with most EVs sold in Australia
Eligibility criteria apply to the charger location. There are geographic funding limits to ensure chargers are distributed around Tasmania
More detailed information about eligibility is available in the Information Pack.
Who pays for the electricity used?
The charger is connected on the customer side of an electricity meter - so the owner of the charger initially pays for the electricity
For a public charger, the charger owner would normally recover the cost of operating the charger from their EV customers
Some businesses may choose to offer free charging as an enticement or as a value-add to existing customers
I'm interested in installing a charger. How do I find out more information?
The Information Pack contains detailed information about types of EV chargers and the Scheme. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 137 008 (Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm).
Different types of EV chargers
Mode 2 (Also known as EVSE)
A cable with an integral adaptor, called the electric vehicle supply equipment or “EVSE”, is used to connect the electric vehicle into a power point.
Advantages: Low cost: EVSE supplied with the vehicle. A power point can be installed easily by an electrical contractor (if a suitable power point is not already present).
Disadvantages: Takes many hours to recharge a vehicle.
Uses: Overnight EV charging at home or business.
Cost: Few $100s for electrical contractor to install a power point.
TasNetworks involvement? No – the power requirements of these chargers can normally be accommodated by a site’s existing switchboard. Electrical contractors provide site-specific advice.
Technical details: AC charging; single or three phase supply (depending on type of car and EVSE); charge rate varies with EVSE, typically 2.3kW or 3.5kW single phase, up 22kW three phase.
Mode 3 (also known as AC charger or destination charger)
A permanently wired charger, which provides a slow to medium rate of charge.
Advantages: Robust; can be swipe-card activated; can be integrated with driver billing; much cheaper than Mode 4.
Disadvantages: Takes some hours to recharge a vehicle from empty.
Uses: Public street-side or car park charging; accommodation premises; businesses wishing to provide customers an extra service to attract customers; in private garages (business or residential) seeking an increased charge rate over Mode 2 charging.
Cost: Few $1000s.
TasNetworks involvement? No - the power requirements of these chargers can normally be accommodated by a site's existing switchboard. Electrical contractors provide site-specific advice.
Technical details: AC charging; single or three phase supply (depending on type of car and cable used); charge rate dependent on vehicle, typically up to 7kW single phase or 22kW three phase.
Mode 4 (also known as DC rapid charge or DC fast charge)
A permanently wired charger which provides a high rate of charge. The recharge time varies depending on the charger and vehicle, but is typically between 30 and 90 minutes.
Cost: $30,000 to $35,000 for charger. Installation costs $1000s to $10,000s.
Advantages: Recharge time 30-90 minutes; robust; can be swipe-card activated; can be integrated with driver billing.
Disadvantages: High cost; slower than a petrol pump.
Uses: Public charging.
Technical details: Three-phase 400V AC supply. Charger converts this to DC. Possible charge rates vary depending on the charger; most are currently 50kW; models up to 150kW are available; models exceeding 400kW are being developed.
TasNetworks involvement? Yes - the high power requirements mean the electricity network connection needs to be evaluated by us and in many cases will need to be upgraded. An electrical contractor will provide advice about whether the existing switchboard needs to be upgraded.
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