When looking at the traffic nowadays, it’s a whole lot easier to spot more and more electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles on the road. With more electric cars comes a higher demand for ways and places where owners can ‘top up the tank’. In this case, topping up the tank means plugging into a charging unit.
Some of you may have noticed the Hills Council has been installing a few EV fast charging stations in the area. We believe this is only the beginning.
Where are the fast new charging stations in the Hills District?
At the moment, this is where to find charging stations installed by the local authority in the Hills District:
- Two charging stations on the B2 Level of the Hills Shire Council Admin Building in Columbia Court, Norwest Business Park.
- Two charging stations in the secure car park of the same building for exclusive use by staff and tenants.
- Another 2 charging stations can be accessed at the Waves Fitness & Aquatic Centre in Baulkham Hills.
Each of these is a ‘fast charging’ station, meaning they can go up to 22kW in power. The brand new additions are close the technical/industrial sector of Norwest where many locals work. It is also close to the local shopping centre, and is basically quite convenient for many in the local area.
What is a fast charging station?
A fast charging station is AC powered and can go up to 22kW, which makes it about three times faster than the standardl home wall-mounted EV charger, which are rated at 2kW and 7kW.
Challenges of owning an EV without nearby fast charging stations
This is an interesting issue. Historically with cars, challenges of any magnitude have almost always focused on performance and handling issues, or maintenance or parts availability and the likes.
With EVs, worrying about not being able to find a charging station when you badly need it seems to be an overwhelming concern.
The good news is the NSW government has begun a plan to ensure the entire state has a dense network of EV charging stations as uptake of EVs grow over the next decade.
This is part of a ‘charging masterplan’ designed purely to meet the new future where electric cars are in the vast majority.
Now, in the Hills, we are fortunate the local government is filling in all the nearby geographical spaces in between with its own initiative. After all, as society shows preference for electric cars because of their almost zero emissions, then it’s so vital that local governments chip in with charging stations that serve the local area.
It makes sense going forward.
The beginning of a much bigger plan
In the Hills District, we have a higher than average uptake of EVs, so to see local authorities chipping in with charging stations for the immediate area is taking matters in the right direction, effectively providing facilities before demand overloads them.
The state-wide charging station grid being set up by the NSW Government is a massive challenge, and near-impossible fiscally and practically to ensure that every single person, even in the most remote parts of the state, has easy access to a charging station .
Without positive steps like those of Hills Council, there will be no way to effectively join the dots across such a wide expanse of area as NSW.
If you aren’t aware, the NSW EV Strategy 30-31 is catering for a whopping 52% EV ownership by 2031-32.
By anyone’s standard, this is a quantum shift towards electric!
So, why are EVs becoming so popular?
- No combustion fuel required so you save money on expensive petrol. Loose estimates suggest you are paying $0.10 per kW which is roughly equates to driving 100km for less than $2, so charging stations represent good value
- They are Environmentally very friendly as they do not emit pollutants exhaust pollutants from the vehicle
- The maintenance factor is much lower. The EV is essentially a large battery and a very efficient electric motor; a simpler operating concept than a multi-faceted fuel injected combustion motor which requires so many more components to work together flawlessly
- Overall better performance: high torque with excellent acceleration and speed.
How can I use the local charging stations?
The charging stations installed in our local area are 22kW fast charging units, which means they can handle constant turnover to meet as much demand a possible.
But, of course, you won’t be able to park your car there for the entire day and just forget about it. We all need access to it!
There will be a two hour limit per vehicle, which is normally enough time to properly recharge a regular EV.
Be mindful you have to bring your own connector cable.
Do I still need an EV charger at home or work?
This is a very contemporary question; like in the hey-day of desktop computers when most people questioned the viability of owning a portable computer. Of course, today, most mobile phones have taken on the role of portable computer.
Eventually, it is highly likely 90% of homes will have EV chargers in the garage. But even today, in the embryonic days which sees Sydney and the world adjust to a new era of automobile fuel, it is logical to assume EV charging at home or work is definitely more convenient.
But it does take longer to charge on the small capacity domestic units, with the offset being it hardly matters because your car is parked there for an extended period
Generally, a home EV charger (and some workplace units) are 7kW powered as they work off regular mains electricity that runs all the appliances in your home. A cable is usually supplied with the EV and is connected to a standard 240-volt domestic wall socket. Power-wise you’re geting a smaller capacity through a 10-amp socket but they are unbelievably convenient, especially if you charge overnight for the next day.
Many businesses are also considering engaging commercial electricians to install EV chargers or fast chargers on their premises as an added incentive to employees.
As the EV uptake grows even stronger in the Hills District, no doubt we will see more and more domestic three-phase electricity installations so that 22kW fast chargers can be installed in the home or at the workplace. It is inevitable we will go that way.
Electric vehicles are the future – there is absolutely no doubt about that. The sight of so many recognised car brands on hybrids and pure EVs grows each year.
The Hills District has many owners of EVs – even in this very early stage of uptake. The more charging stations, the better for the area, so this latest action by our local council adds to the convenience and service requirements of owners of electric cars and ensures they too can keep running without stressing out about ‘running out of fuel’, so to speak.
But, unlike a regular petrol station and all its complexities and potential dangers, and EV charging station can easily be fitted at the residential home or commercial premises, and that is why we are likely to see them popping up in all sorts of unexpected places, conveniently in the Hills area.
If you’d like to install an EV charger at home, choose someone reliable. As a local Hills District electrician, Bolt Electrics has installed chargers for plenty of homeowners in the area already. Give us a call today!