4 January 2024

Powering ahead: Check out the boom in electronic vehicle charging points across Wollongong

| Zoe Cartwright
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man at EV-charging station

Endeavour Energy’s general manager, customer future grid, Colin Crisafulli, uses one of the new EVX chargers on Victoria Street, Wollongong. Photo: Wollongong City Council.

Electronic vehicle users, rejoice – Wollongong has six new charging points, with three more to come by the end of 2024.

Five pole-mounted electric vehicle chargers have been deployed at Wollongong’s George Street, Victoria Street and Cliff Road as well as Austinmer Tennis Courts and Railway Parade in Thirroul.

They are funded by a partnership between Wollongong City Council, Endeavour Energy and electric vehicle infrastructure company EVX.

The number of EVs on Wollongong’s roads has almost quadrupled since 2021 and the new kerbside infrastructure will help provide drivers with an easier way to charge up away from home.

Endeavour Energy’s general manager, customer future grid, Colin Crisafulli, said Wollongong’s first pole-mounted electric vehicle chargers would make EV ownership more accessible and affordable.

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“The rollout of pole-mounted chargers, on existing but repurposed infrastructure, makes it easier for people to consider choosing to drive an electric vehicle and will help those living in apartments or renting,” he said.

“By repurposing existing infrastructure and using the electricity network’s capacity for additional services, we can exert downward pressure on electricity prices for all customers.”

The University of Wollongong (UOW) recently installed a new 180kW Ingeteam EV charger at the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre (SBRC) on the UOW Innovation Campus.

This is an increase on the previous 50kW charger at this location and includes updates to the charging connection types to suit modern electric vehicles.

The updated, 180kW EV charger is free for public use, with plans to connect it to one of the major charging network providers.

UOW will also install three super-fast EV chargers on campus, thanks to a $450,000 grant from the NSW Government.

With the support of this grant, UOW plans to install three super-fast DC chargers, including two ABB Terra 360kW units and one ABB Terra 180kW version, within the P8 (Unicentre) carpark.

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The chargers will be available free to the public and offer a full charge in just 20 minutes from 100 per cent renewable energy.

They are part of the NSW Government’s plans to install super-fast chargers at 100 km intervals along all major highways.

Adam Malouf, UOW’s chief operating officer and vice-president (operations), expressed enthusiasm for the university’s role as a fast-charging gateway to the Illawarra.

“This investment is a testament to UOW’s significant and continuing commitment to sustainability and innovation,” he said.

“The installation of these super-fast chargers will not only benefit our campus community but will also serve as a crucial resource for the broader public, contributing to the growth of electric vehicle adoption in the region.”

Dr Clayton McDowell, UOW’s associate director of sustainability and deputy director of the Centre for Supply Chain Research, is managing the project on behalf of the UOW Facilities Management Division.

“We are proud to be at the forefront of this green revolution,” Dr McDowell said.

“The strategic location of our fast-charging site, less than 300 m from the Princes Motorway, positions UOW as a pivotal hub in the development of the NSW EV Super Highway.”

The university aims to have the grant-funded chargers operational by December next year, marking a significant milestone in the region’s transition to zero-emission vehicles.

“I am excited to see the impact of this initiative on our local community and the broader Illawarra region,” Dr McDowell said.

“All the available EV chargers will not only enhance the convenience for EV drivers but will also contribute to ongoing research and education on energy grid management.”

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