Australia Gets First EV Fast Charger

In Australia, Mitsubishi figures drivers of its i-MiEV electric vehicles (EVs) will get along very well indeed charging their vehicles at home. It is, after all, a country of generally low-density development, with plenty of detached homes and off-street parking – perfect for home charging. That’s why a Mitsubishi Motors Australia (MMAL) executive recently told the website Carsguide, “There is no real need for street chargers in Australia.”

Reality is one thing, however, and perception is another. In Australia, as in the United States, the thinking seems to be that while most EV charging can and should be done at home overnight, a profusion of public stations will help potential buyers overcome “range anxiety.” Thus, a DC fast-charge system – Australia’s first – has been installed in Adelaide, at MMAL’s headquarters, no less.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric vehicles, fast charging, Australia

image via Mitsubishi Motors Australia

Club Assist, a company that built itself up by providing roadside battery replacements, did the Adelaide charging-station project, and in a press release it said it “anticipates commencing installations of additional Level 3 EV Fast Charging systems around the country.”

The fast chargers are particularly appealing to the public because they do their work so quickly. Club Assist said its Adelaide station will take an i-MiEV to 80 percent capacity in less than 30 minutes, and a 50 percent charge will be completed in under 12 minutes. Regular 15-amp charging, by contrast, would take several hours.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.