The Australian government has introduced stringent requirements for the reliability and infrastructure of new DC charging stations that receive public funding, according to The Driven, an Australian EV news website. Effective next year, these charging stations must maintain a charging uptime of 98%, aligning with the high standards set in the USA at 97% and the UK at 99%.
Under the new regulations, publicly funded charging sites must feature at least two DC stations with two connections each. Moreover, a minimum of 70% of each DC fast charging site must be equipped with Combined Charging System (CCS) Type 2 plug connectors, as the use of Chademo has diminished, particularly beyond Nissan Leafs.
Additional specifications include parking bays that accommodate larger vehicles and various charging port locations, whether at the front, side, or rear of the vehicle. Stations with a capacity of 150 kW or more are mandated to have at least one “drive-through” parking space for larger vehicles or electric cars with trailers. Furthermore, one parking space per location must adhere to the standards for barrier-free parking.
The reliability standards also encompass the implementation of a standardized payment system. Australian Energy Minister Chris Bowen emphasized that these minimum operating standards aim to simplify administration, alleviate range anxiety, and convey essential requirements to charge point operators.
While Australia is home to Tritium, a renowned fast charging station specialist, the company recently shifted its manufacturing operations from Australia to the USA. This move comes amid reports of charging reliability concerns prompting the Biden-Harris administration to announce a $100 million program for charger repairs and upgrades in the US. Tritium, with a track record of achieving high uptake percentages in the UK and Australia, stands to benefit from this initiative.
It's worth noting that the new standards do not affect existing subsidy projects but will be applicable to future subsidies. Authorities maintain the flexibility to modify requirements for individual sites if compliance proves excessively costly or impractical.
Earlier this year, the Australian federal government outlined plans to invest $70 million in grant funding for charging infrastructure, administered through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).