Shopping centre giant Vicinity is partnering with energy company Engie to roll out electric vehicle (EV) fast chargers at up to 30 of its shopping centres.

    The project is part of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s (ARENA) Future Fuels fund.

    Vicinity says the DC fast chargers can charge a vehicle up to 80 per cent battery capacity in 30 minutes.

    The company hasn’t confirmed what output these chargers will have, though CarExpert understands they should be 120kW DC units.

    The first EV chargers will be installed in the coming months, with the remainder to be installed over the following two years.

    Vicinity owns 60 retail centres in Australia, including Chatswood Chase in Sydney, Chadstone in Melbourne, and The Myer Centre in Brisbane.

    “Our national portfolio of centres across Australia offers a unique opportunity to provide accessible and convenient fast-charging facilities for our communities to enjoy,” said Vicinity’s chief innovation and information officer, Justin Mills.

    “With 66 per cent of the Australian population living within a 30-minute drive of our centres, the rollout out of electric vehicle charging in our car parks will greatly expand the charging infrastructure, paving the way for greater electric vehicle ownership in Australia.”

    Mr Mills also pointed out customers will be able to experience how customers can “seamlessly integrate the charging of their vehicle as part of their everyday lifestyle”.

    Vicinity is aiming to deliver net zero emissions by 2030. The company has also partnered with Wing to facilitate delivery by drone.

    Engie is spending $22.64 million to roll out 103 fast charging stations across four regions in Australia, with $6.85 million funded by ARENA.

    It’s working with ISimply Energy and Jet Charge to roll out the stations, which will have a capacity of at least 100kW.

    The contribution to Engie’s project is part of a broader $24.55 million project to roll out 403 fast-charging stations nationwide, each of which will be able to charge two vehicles concurrently.

    The five successful applicants for grants from the first round of ARENA funding are Evie Networks, Ampol, Engie, Chargefox, and Electric Highways Tasmania.

    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.

    For background, the Future Fuels Fund is a $71.9 million cash pile announced in the 2020-21 federal budget, with a stated aim “to remove barriers to the uptake of new vehicle technologies”.

    Evie, Ampol and Engie’s proposals are the largest in scope and funding.

    Evie is working with partners Tritium and ActewAGL to roll out 158 stations across eight regions in Australia, at a total cost of $25.61m – $8.85m is being contributed by ARENA.

    Ampol’s $26.81m project, of which $7.05m comes from Arena, will see it roll out more than 100 stations across its service station network.

    It’ll install them in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

    MORE: Australian government co-funds rollout of 400 public EV charge points

    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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