Innovative streetlight EV charger goes on trial in regional NSW

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Electricity distribution company, Essential Energy, partners with EV charging company, EVX and composite fibre technology company, Wagners to trial a streetlight EV charger – a new concept for delivering low-impact, accessible EV charging in regional NSW.

The prototype streetlight EV charger has been installed in the Mid North Coast town of Port Macquarie to trial an innovative way to increase charging options for residents and visitors to regional, rural and remote communities. The streetlight charger connects to the existing electricity used to power the streetlight, eliminating the need to install additional infrastructure and undergo major earthworks, which is typical for EV charging alternatives, reducing the visual and environmental impact. Due to their convenient location near the curb adjacent to car parking spaces, streetlights have the potential to play a significant role in expanding public ‘top-up’ charging facilities in regional NSW.

Essential Energy Chief Commercial Officer Justin Hillier says the trial is using a prototype composite streetlight column with a cavity designed to completely house an EV charger.

Essential Energy has been working in partnership with Wagners CFT and EVX to develop a product that provides a faster and easier way to roll out more EV charging. The innovation of the streetlight EV charger also provides the opportunity for people who live in housing that can’t be retrofitted with charging facilities to purchase EVs, as well as offering top-up charging for tourists and locals. Enabling more options for charging across the Essential Energy network is part of our commitment to facilitating the uptake of electric vehicles.”

EVX CEO, Andrew Foster, believes the proof of concept will be great news for local councils across NSW.

“By combining innovative technologies with public infrastructure, this new approach to deploying much-needed EV chargers allows councils to roll out new public EV chargers easily and cost-effectively at scale and in convenient locations. Importantly, the ability to utilise pre-existing infrastructure instead of adding new electrical assets to the streetscape is anticipated to make it easier for councils to navigate crucial planning considerations, especially when it comes to assessing the public impacts of expanding EV charging capabilities.”

EVX CEO, Andrew Forster at the new charger

Wagners CFT Australia/New Zealand General Manager Ryan Leeson says they look forward to seeing the results of this innovative trial.

“As the uptake of electric vehicles and demand for charging increases, Wagners is excited to be partnering with Essential Energy to produce a solution for EV customers that leverages existing infrastructure, is low impact, and uses Wagners proven composite technology in the form of a streetlight column.”

Members of the public are encouraged to use the streetlight EV charger, which is free-of-charge, and to provide feedback during the four-week period via a QR code on the side of the column. The streetlight EV charger is located near 1 Clarence Street, Port Macquarie and is available for use until 10 June 2024.

About Essential Energy

Essential Energy builds, operates and maintains one of Australia’s largest electricity distribution networks, servicing 890,00 customers across regional, rural and remote communities. The network footprint covers 95 per cent of New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland, traversing 737,000 square kilometres of diverse landscape from the desert to the coast, across alpine to sub-tropical.  Delivering safe and reliable electricity for our communities is at the core of what we do, while actively supporting the energy transition through enabling the connection of renewables on the network.

About EVX

Founded in 2021, EVX is one of the country’s newest EV charging infrastructure companies. Recognising the lack of infrastructure for EV users without access to adequate home charging, founders Sean McGinty and Kevin Mooney took this challenge head-on. The driving force behind EVX Australia is comprised of experts in their respective fields including engineers and senior managers from the telecommunications and automotive industries who have delivered public infrastructure and major projects in Australia and abroad.

About Wagners

Wagners Composite Fibre Technologies pioneered the use of composite materials in Australia that ensures superior strength-to-weight ratio, cost-effective and durable solutions as a replacement for steel, aluminium and wood in infrastructure projects or engineering applications, especially when facing environmentally sensitive or challenging terrain.

 

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