Australian startup Chargefox, as signed a deal with leading European luxury car manufacturers, including Audi, Jaguar, Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz, as part of plans to build a nationwide network of ultra-rapid network of charging stations for electric vehicles (EV).
The company raised $15 million for the project earlier this year, with the blue chip investors ranging from six of the country’s automobile clubs, including NRMA, RACV and RACQ, to Carsales cofounder, Greg Roebuck, alongside a $1 million grant grants from the Victorian Government and another grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.
The chargers will have a minimum power output of 150kW and up to 350kW, delivering up to 400km of range in 15 minutes.
In the initial rollout will have 21 locations for the network and the first stations in the Victorian regional towns of Euroa and Barnawartha North were launched today.
Chargefox has been running charging stations across Australia and New Zealand for the past year, delivering more than 8000 sessions, and is already the biggest and fastest growing open charging network in Australia. The Chargefox App helps people find the charging stations and pay for it via mobile phone.
The ultra-rapid Chargefox network will feature sites powered by the world’s first solar, battery storage and 350kW charging combination.
Chargefox CEO Marty Andrews said the network “will help remove the sizeable barriers that currently prevent consumers from accessing alternative, sustainable, vehicular-based travel solutions”.
The company’s vision is that road transport will be eventually completely powered by renewable energy.
Andrews said foundation partnerships with the world’s leading automobile manufacturers show the industry’s commitment to sustainability.
South Korean car giant Hyundai is also part of the collaboration with Chargefox and the company’s manager of future mobility, Scott Nargar, said the company will be launching two new electric vehicles on the Australian market in the coming months.
“Hyundai looks forward to working with Chargefox and our other industry partners – including the Australian EV Council – to make zero emissions transport and the infrastructure required to power it a reality for all Australians,” he said.
Audi also showcased its new e-tron SUV, which lands in Australia in the second half of 2019, at today’s launch, while Jaguar Land Rover Australia Managing Director, Mark Cameron, said the company is about to deliver the first of its new Jaguar I-PACE EVs to Australian customers and Chargefox tackles one of the key issues the company’s customers were facing.
“We have examined many potential opportunities, however the Chargefox ultra-rapid charging network warranted our attention,” Cameron said.
“The planned footprint covering the major highways from Brisbane through to Adelaide, then Perth and surrounding townships, suggested a sound journey charging solution for those choosing to travel beyond the confines of the major metropolitan centres.”
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