Australian startup Jolt will offer up to 7kWh of free fast charging per session to EV owners in Knox, thanks to a new council partnership.

    The partnership will see the installation of seven public 25kW DC chargers in the Knox local council area in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs.

    The charging stations will be based in “local shopping centres and help people make the transition to electric cars” said Knox Mayor, councillor Marcia Timmers-Leitch.

    No firm date has been provided for when the chargers will be made available to the public beyond a promise of “early 2023”. The first charger has been confirmed for Station Street in Ferntree Gully.

    The chargers are coming at no cost to the council, and represent Jolt’s first entry into the Victorian market.

    Customers can use the 25kW DC Jolt fast chargers within the Knox council free for the first 7kWh of energy, which is good for up to 50km of range (depending on your car) and takes around 15 minutes.

    Jolt differs from other charge providers as its chargers feature digital displays to show programmatic advertising. The advertisements are designed to open up a new revenue stream for the company, and allow it to provide free charging for a limited time.

    Drivers who require longer on the charger will pay 46 cents per kWh.

    The charging locations will be split across Ferntree Gully, Wantirna, Wantirna South, Scoresby, and Bayswater. To find the full list of locations visit the Jolt Charge locator.

    Jolt quotes research arguing customers prefer to charge their cars at shopping centres, and will travel to a shopping centre purely due to the presence of an EV charger.

    “EV chargers attract new, regular visitors to the area, which is great for local businesses,” Jolt commercial partnerships manager Steve McLennan explains.

    “We see this as an excellent initiative that the council is leading and it is really going to set the bar for other councils in Melbourne,” he said.

    In a push by the council to help reduce emissions, Ms Timmers-Leitch says “more charging stations will support and encourage people to choose zero-emissions transport and help our community achieve net zero emissions by 2040 as set out in our Climate Response Plan“.

    After the rollout in Victoria is complete there will be 50 active Jolt charging stations across South Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales. The company eventually is targeting more than 5000 chargers nationwide.

    Sales for electric, hybrid, and plug-In hybrid vehicles continue to increase in Australia, accounting for 12 per cent of vehicle sales during January 2023.

    The Tesla Model 3 leads the EV sales charts in January with 2927 deliveries, and placed third in overall vehicle sales.

    Second in line was the Tesla Model Y with 386 sales, and third place went to BYD Atto 3 with 267.

    MORE: January 2023 VFACTS sales figures for Australia

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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