Supporting EV charging across regional, remote and rural NSW

04 December 2023

With more and more of customers purchasing electric vehicles (EV), Essential Energy is committed to supporting the roll out of charging infrastructure in regional, remote and rural NSW.

Much like the diversity of our network, there are a range of charging options on the market. In order to meet the growing need for charging when travelling throughout the network footprint, we need to support the installation of these different options.

Charging an EV can be done via three different types of chargers (Level 1, 2 or 3).

A level 1 charger is what an EV owner could use at home without installing a designated charger. It's the most basic type of charger, offering a slow ‘trickle’ type of charge that is suitable when plugging in the car overnight. It doesn't require any additional hardware to be installed. The car comes with a charging cable that can be plugged into a wall socket.

A level 2 charger is commonly known as a ‘destination charger’. It provides more of a top-up style charging for drivers who are coming into town for lunch, doing some shopping or staying at a hotel. These can be easily installed on a pole in a parking lot or by attaching to existing infrastructure like a kerbside utility pole.

A level 3 charger is the fastest and is typically for people needing to charge while travelling long distances. It's similar to filling up at a petrol station and can recharge a car battery in a shorter period of time. These types of chargers involve more infrastructure, and in some cases, an augmentation of the network to manage the additional load.

Having a lot of EV charging options on the network will help lower the backlog at charging stations; will reduce range anxiety for people looking to travel across our footprint; and encourage more tourism in our communities.

By working with electric vehicle Charge Point Operators and Councils, Essential Energy is supporting the installation of more charging infrastructure across the network.

As this type of work is in its infancy, we are trialling different methods in order to map out the ‘best-practice’ for connections and installations as the applications begin to increase.

Pole mounted EV charger

Joint-use agreements, like ones that allow for NBN assets and 5G small cells to be mounted on our poles, can help Charge Point Operators install more charging in our communities faster and cheaper. The first pole-mounted charger was installed on the network in Hawks Nest as part of a trial with EVX.

EV fast charger

We also have a dedicated EV team working closing with Charge Point Operators doing large-scale fast charger roll outs, like NRMA Energy, who has partnered with the federal government to install over 100 fast chargers nationally as part of the National Highway charging program. The first fast charger installed on the network as part of the program was in Mudgee.

Download a larger version of the Hawks Nest pole-mounted charger image (3000 x 2000 @72dpi)
Download a larger version of the Mudgee fast charger image (4032 x 3024 @72dpi)