Canberra's first public ultra-fast 800-volt electric car charger, capable of recharging a vehicle in 15 minutes, will be installed in the next six months.
Jet Charge, the Melbourne-based company which produces the recharging infrastructure for the ACT government's electric car fleet, says the ultra-fast charger is a genuine "game changer" which will further shift public perceptions about electric vehicle ownership.
Traditionally, two of the key issues with electric car ownership are the slow recharging time and the availability of places to plug in and recharge.
Geoff Mewing, who runs the corporate partnerships for Jet Charge, said that while only one brand and type of car - the Porsche Taycan sports car, to be launched next month - is capable of getting the benefit of the full 800-volt super-fast recharge time, "other cars with a similar capability will be along pretty soon".
The ACT is regarded as a small but significant client of Australian start-up Jet Charge, which began just six years ago as the installers for Tesla and is fast building Australia's largest recharging network. Sister company, Chargefox, uses a cloud-based app to show customers where all its recharging stations are located and whether they are in use.
The ACT government plans to have 46 charging stations operational for its fleet across the ACT within the next month, adding another pair on Monday at the West Belconnen Child and Family Centre at Holt.
There are 29 public charging stations in the ACT, of which 10 are specifically designed to recharge Tesla electric vehicles and no other brands.
This leaves just 13 public chargers remaining - several of which are inevitably out of service at any one time - which greatly disadvantages the rest of Canberra's electric vehicle owners and puts added pressure on the government to turn over more of its "private" network to the public as soon as possible.
"There's no doubt that having an extensive recharging network in place is the key to staying ahead of the market growth," Mr Mewing said.
While Chargefox has a consumer friendly, easy to use app-driven dashboard for its public customers, by keeping its recharging network closed and restricted only to its fleet vehicles, the ACT government's system is clunkier and harder for public servants to use.
Mr Mewing said the ACT's rapid push to electric vehicles was commendable as it provided the lead for the rest of the community to follow.
"Having a government drive the electric vehicle take-up is a positive because it has flow-on advantages for the private market," he said.
Jet Charge is rushing to stay ahead of the electric vehicle sales growth and is installing recharging stations at Mirvac and Stockland shopping centres, and Woolworths supermarkets.
From Cairns, it has 22 sites down the Queensland coast and aims to extend that highway network to Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and across to Adelaide, with an ultra-fast charge in every capital city by mid-2020.
While Jet Charge is benefiting from the ACT government's recharging infrastructure drive, Korean car maker Hyundai is in the box seat to cash in on the fleet purchase deal.
Hyundai's Ionic electric car will dominate the ACT fleet, together with 20 Hyundai Nexo hydrogen fuel cell cars.
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