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EV charger install subsidies announced for Australian businesses, $127 million on the table

John Law

The Australian Government’s renewable energy program will contribute to electric car charger installations for Australian businesses with corporate fleets

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has confirmed its next step will be investing $127.9 million to help fleet operators transition to electric vehicles.

Established in 2012, ARENA is an independent agency of the Australian federal government that aims to make renewable and sustainable energy sources more accessible.

The funding package will be focused on making it more affordable and easier for light vehicle fleet owners to install charging infrastructure to support their EVs. Businesses that could benefit include delivery and courier companies operating in cities and suburbs. 

Mercedes-Benz electric van range
Electric vans and delivery companies would benefit from the cash pool

A continuation of the Commonwealth government’s Future Fuels program that pushes for co-investment between government, fleet owners and charging companies, the package should accelerate a move towards lower-emission corporate vehicle fleets in Australia.

Applications are now open for companies to receive a chunk of the $127,900,000 in Commonwealth funding available for the project.

 ARENA CEO Darren Miller was enthused about the initiative’s benefits.

“Assisting fleet users to move to zero emissions vehicles means getting more zero emission cars and trucks on the road sooner, driving the road transport sector toward a net zero future,” Mr Miller said.

Nissan Leaf e+ 2021 charging
The Nissan Leaf is used by some councils in Sydney

Currently, there are some fleets becoming greener such as Sydney City Council which runs low and zero-emission vehicles including the Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius C. 

Though importantly, the ARENA pool isn’t there for buying vehicles, but rather installing the smart charging stations in business premises to make it more seamless to run, for example, electric delivery vans such as the Peugeot e-Partner.

Every business will require different charging infrastructures. For those who complete short trips throughout that day and leave vehicles in a compound overnight 7-11kW home charging units would be sufficient.

Some companies with longer run times and shorter turnarounds may also benefit from faster but more expensive 50kW rapid DC charging points. 

NSW EV bus driving around town
There are electric buses running about Sydney!

Additionally, Sydney Transport’s buses have been transitioning to battery power after investment from ARENA in the Leichhardt electric bus charging depot, showing that there is the potential for EV applications in the heavy vehicle sector, too.  

What has ARENA funded so far?

What ARENA is proposing now is its second stage of the Future Fuels funding package with stage one now well underway.

The first stage saw ARENA pledge $24.55 million to five charging infrastructure companies that with more than 400 new fast or ultra-rapid charging stations pop up around Australia, with the first new charger open as of November 8 2021. 

ARENA has also previously worked with Chargefox, giving $1.77 million towards the company’s 16 new 100kW+ charging locations between Adelaide and Perth. 

The total current ARENA funding is sitting at $250 million after a recent $178 million injection from the federal government last year. The $127.9 million going towards the fleet program is just a part of the package, with more investment to come focused on further expanding public and home charging possibilities.