Ampol has opened the first of 120 AmpCharge electric vehicle charging stations, which it plans to have operating around the country by December 2023.

    The first location is at the Ampol Woolworths MetroGo in Alexandria, New South Wales.

    It’ll be followed over the coming month by four more pilot sites in Carseldine, Queensland; Belmont, Western Australia; Northmead, NSW; and Altona North, Victoria.

    Though Ampol is best known for dispensing fuel, it wants to establish Australia’s leading EV charging network by 2030.

    There’s been a slight delay in getting these pilot sites operational. They were supposed to be online by the end of July, with all 120 sites set to be open by October 2023.

    Each of the five pilot sites will be able to charge at least two electric vehicles concurrently, and can charge an EV at up to 150kW.

    They feature solar panels and solar battery storage, with Ampol trialling their use with the view to rolling out this technology across the network.

    Ampol also says the energy used by its AmpCharge chargers will be entirely offset by Large Scale Generation Certificates.

    As well as using its national network of service stations, Ampol plans to roll out destination chargers in places like shopping centres and to introduce a “home charging infrastructure offer”.

    “Electrification and electric vehicles will play a critical role in reducing emissions across Australia’s transport sector over the coming years and we have an important role to play in supporting this transition,” said Ampol executive general manager Brent Merrick.

    “Our vision for the Ampol EV network is to develop a best-in-class EV charging ecosystem enabling the rollout of our own charging assets and allowing us to partner with others to form Australia’s leading EV charging network.

    “The milestone today is part of the first-stage rollout of fast charging technology to sites across our national retail network.”

    The Ampol rollout is part of an agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced in July last year, with ARENA providing partial funding through the federal Future Fuels Fund – billed last year as $7.05 million from a total $26.81m investment.

    Ampol was announced last July as one of five successful grant applicants from the first round of funding for EV chargers, along with Evie Networks, Engie, Chargefox, and Electric Highways Tasmania.

    Together the five applicants are expected to deliver 403 new DC stations, each capable of charging at least two vehicles concurrently at rates of at least 50kW.

    Charging stations are to be built across eight geographic regions covering 14 of Australia’s most populous cities. These include all capitals and regional centres including Geelong, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Sunshine Coast.

    Prior to this year’s election, the outgoing government also committed a further $178 million to the Future Fuels Fund, initially a $71.9 million cash pile announced in the 2020-21 federal budget.

    The (then) Opposition pledged to double this investment to $500 million to establish a new Driving the Nation fund, part of which would see the government co-fund a national charger network with charging stations at “an average interval of 150km on major roads”.

    Ampol isn’t the only fuel giant to plan an EV charger network.

    BP earlier this year signed a deal with Australian DC charger company Tritium to establish a charging network of its own.

    We’re moving to a time where the typical service station will have a few EV chargers, then, plus food and coffee inside to spend money on while you wait.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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