The Australian Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation has invested $3.5 million in JET Charge, the market leader in electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Australia.
The investment accounts for the lion’s share of the Australian company’s latest round of capital raising, which totals $4.5 million. The investment will go towards the deployment of smart charging hardware.
While co-founder and CEO Tim Washington acknowledges Australian consumer reticence in embracing electric vehicles, he believes Australia can become a world leader in charging infrastructure integration and that our country can “[show] the world how to balance our EV fuelling needs with renewables, stationary storage and an ever-changing electricity grid.”
He believes the biggest barrier to EV adoption in Australia isn’t price or battery life but, rather, the ability to integrate EVs into our nation’s electricity grids while maximising the use of renewables.
“We believe that through a combination of smart charging, demand response, ancillary grid services and vehicle to grid technology, we can make EV charging effectively free for Australian EV drivers within five years. That is our goal.
“We think that if we can make charging free, then the path to 100 per cent lower emissions transport will be shorter.”
The company this year is introducing Australia’s first bi-directional DC charger, also known as a vehicle-to-grid charger.
The Wallbox Quasar can charge your EV but also draw electricity from its battery to supply your home or export to the grid.
Currently, only one EV – the Nissan Leaf – has a battery that supports vehicle-to-grid charging without voiding the warranty. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Exceed also supports bi-directional charging.
“Our goal is to facilitate compatible EVs in becoming an asset for the grid, with the future capacity to discharge electricity to homes, buildings and the wider grid when demand is high, and financially reward EV drivers for doing so,” Mr Washington said.
Founded in 2014, JET Charge is a co-founder of Chargefox, Australia’s largest EV charging network, and is the preferred company for brands such as Tesla, Porsche and Hyundai for installing and maintaining wall chargers.
If you’ve charged an electric vehicle lately, odds are you interacted with software or hardware managed by JET Charge as the company supplies and maintains charging infrastructure for domestic, commercial and government use.
The $3.5 million from the CEFC is a worthy investment and comes from the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, which has a total of $200 million to invest in “cleantech” entrepreneurs.
This is part of the greater CEFC “green bank”, which has an enormous kitty comprising $10 billion that’s being invested to solve various emissions challenges including energy generation and storage.