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The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced an $871,000 investment in supporting the deployment of 50 streetside Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The Intellihub project will install EV chargers on power poles across nine local government areas in New South Wales to cater for EV owners who live in apartments, townhouses or units that do not have access to EV charging on-site.

Project partner Schneider Electric will provide EV-charging infrastructure for the $2.04 million undertaking, allowing for both top-up and overnight charging services.

Once deployed, the charging services will be overseen and managed by EVSE Australia and powered by OriginEnergy who will supply renewable energy for the project.

Participating councils include; Waverley, Woollahra, Randwick, Lake Macquarie, Ryde, Singleton, Parramatta, Northern Beaches and Inner West local councils.

ARENA Chief Executive Officer, Darren Miller, said power pole charging provided the perfect solution to increasing the availability of public EV chargers.

“Not all electric vehicle owners have the ability to charge their vehicle at home, which is why we’re excited to partner with Intellihub on this trial that utilises street side power poles, providing a great opportunity to pair with EV charging,” Mr Miller said.

“We look forward to seeing the results of the trial from Intellihub and hope to see it rolled out right across Australia.”

The trial aims to highlight that there are currently no regulatory barriers to using existing infrastructure that already has power running to it, such as street power poles, and will also help to understand the impact of EV chargers on the electricity network.

If successful, ntellihub aims to pursue a wider rollout of chargers to more local councils on a commercial basis.

Intellihub CEO, Wes Ballantine, said charging services were essential to the widespread adoption of Electric Vehicles.

“It’s expected that as many as ten per cent of new car sales in Australia will be electric vehicles by 2025. That equates to an extra 120,000 new EVs on our local streets each year. It’s likely that many of these car owners may be unable to charge their EVs from home.

“Power poles line most of our public streets and that presents an opportunity for the EV charging market. They’re an accessible, safe, and practical option for EV charging.”

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