May 19 - 25, 2024: Issue 626


Local Power poles transformed to boost EV uptake: Australian-first trial taking place across the peninsula

May 15 2024, Mayor Sue Heins and Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine - Northern Beaches power poles transformed into electric vehicle charging stations. Photo:  Intellihub

Charging electric vehicles on the Beaches has become even easier thanks to 7 new charging stations installed on power poles.

As part of an Australian-first trial, local street side power poles have been turned into charging stations for electric vehicles. The project is being led by energy technology business Intellihub, supported by Council, and with funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Mayor Sue Heins welcomed the new chargers as a great addition to the growing list of EV charging locations on the Beaches.

“The Northern Beaches is one of the fastest growing areas for EV ownership and we are working with industry partners to make sure there are enough local charging stations to keep pace with demand,” Mayor Heins said.

“This wonderful initiative is making EV charging more accessible for people living in apartments, townhouses or units with no onsite EV charging options. We expect it will encourage more people to make the switch from petrol and diesel powered vehicles to electric.

“We continue to encourage all our residents to consider making the switch. Together, we can reach our target of a 30% reduction in vehicle emissions by 2038.”

The Northern Beaches LGA is one of 8 local councils taking part in the Intellihub EV Streetside Charging Project.

The 22 kilowatt chargers have been installed at:

  • Ashburner Street, Manly
  • West Promenade, Manly
  • Anzac Avenue, Collaroy
  • Blackbutts Road (opposite Malbara Crescent), Frenchs Forest
  • Yulong Avenue, Terrey Hills
  • Allambie Road, Allambie Heights
  • Dearin Reserve (opposite 13 Kalinya Street), Newport

The community was involved in deciding the best locations for the trial. Council received 429 responses from the community, with overall support for the project.

Two were slated for Pittwater, at Mona Vale and Palm Beach, however, after conducting their final pre-installation inspections, Ausgrid advised that the EV charging stations approved for sites at Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach (outside Dunes Palm Beach) and 15 Coronation Street, Mona Vale can no longer proceed due to load limit issues. 

Council selected two alternative sites that were considered under the original proposal, and reported these to the Local Traffic Committee on Tuesday 6 February 2024 for approval:

  • 19 Yulong Avenue, Terrey Hills
  • 118 Allambie Road, Allambie Heights.

The Committee supported the installation of a charging station at 19 Yulong Avenue, Terry Hills, and, following a review of safety concerns and options for an alternative site, the proposal for 118 Allambie Road, Allambie Heights was approved by the Committee at its meeting on Tuesday 5 March 2024.

The EV charges are connected to the overhead electricity supply, and the energy use is matched with 100 per cent accredited GreenPower. For all the energy required to charge electric vehicles, the equivalent amount of certified renewable energy is put back into the grid.

More than 1,300 EVs have been registered across the peninsula over the past 12-months. There are now more than 3,100 EVs registered across the local government area.

Hundreds of charging sessions have already taken place at these charging stations this year.

Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine said EV drivers will be able to drive up, park and charge at any of the charging sites via the Exploren App.

“A typical EV can get more than 200km of driving from a two-hour charge at any of these sites,” Mr Ballantine said.

“The new chargers are displayed on all public EV charging maps, so every EV driver, whether they live here or are just visiting, will know they can more easily charge their EV on the Northern Beaches.

“We’re very pleased to be working with Northern Beaches Council on such an important project.”

If the 12-month trial is successful more poles could be rolled out across the country. Results of the trial will be reported to the Local Traffic Committee in early 2025 and placed on public exhibition.

For more information about the trial visit Council's webpage.

The Intellihub EV Streetside Charging Stations increase the places residents can access charging stations, with an EV charging station being installed at 3 Bungan street Mona Vale and ready for use by September 2021.

Electric vehicle owners and users could now enjoy free, fast charging with the first Ausgrid  JOLT EV charging station.

The world-first initiative transformed an existing Ausgrid streetside kiosk into a state-of-the-art EV charging station. 

Bungan street Mona Vale - photo: Ausgrid/JOLT

Ausgrid Chief Customer Officer Rob Amphlett Lewis said then Ausgrid’s program to convert existing streetside “green boxes” to also double as charging stations was going to help push Sydney into greater EV take-up. 

“We’re using existing, essential electrical infrastructure on the street to provide a free service for the community and hopefully help accelerate the transition to electric vehicles in Australia,” Mr Amphlett Lewis said. 

“Innovative projects like this are the future of energy. They give our customers access to renewable energy choices and incentivise electric vehicle use which is a key step in the transition towards cleaner transport options.

“People will be able to pull up, plugin and be on their way in 15 minutes,” Mr Amphlett Lewis said.

“We’re thankful to have the support of the community and the Northern Beaches Council to make this happen.”

JOLT CEO Doug McNamee said he planned to roll out 500 charging kiosks across the Ausgrid network.

“We’re excited to be teaming up with Ausgrid for the launch of our Sydney network, giving drivers the ability to access free, fast charging across the city. Drivers will get 7Kwh free per day, potentially saving over $1000 a year,” Mr McNamee said.

“JOLT’s partnership with Ausgrid helps solve the major barriers affecting the uptake of EVs including access to charging, cost and range anxiety.

“In the last 12 months (2020 to 2021), EV ownership has skyrocketed, almost doubling to 23 thousand new registrations, representing the second year in a row where the total number of electric vehicles has almost doubled. Now, more than ever, Australians are gearing up for an EV revolution,” Mr McNamee said.

Customers will be able to sign up via the JOLT app to access 7 kWh for free once per day, which takes around 15 minutes to charge. Users looking for more than 7 kWh can pay for further energy via the app. 

Mona Vale was followed by 

  • Dee Why, Forestville, Freshwater
  • Lagoon Street Carpark, Lagoon Street, Narrabeen
  • Ocean Street, Narrabeen
  • Winbourne Road, Brookvale

EV charging stations and signage were then installed, with the stations ready to use, at the following sites:

  • Blackbutts Road (opposite Malbara Crescent), Frenchs Forest
  • 9 Anzac Avenue, Collaroy
  • 25-27 Ashburner Street, Manly
  • 4 West Promenade, Manly
  • Dearin Reserve (opposite 13 Kalinya Street, Newport).

A report on the outcomes from Community Engagement was presented to the Northern Beaches Local Traffic Committee on Tuesday 10 October 2023, where the Committee endorsed the installation at the following seven locations:

  • Pittwater Park South carpark, Palm Beach
  • Berry Reserve Carpark, Narrabeen
  • Collaroy Beach Reserve Carpark
  • Civic Centre Carpark, Dee Why
  • Oaks Avenue (cnr The Strand), Dee Why
  • Kempridge Avenue, Seaforth
  • South Steyne, Manly.

A proposal for The Boulevarde, Newport is not proceeding due to potential flooding issues. As this location was well supported by the community, we will continue to work with JOLT to find an alternative, suitable location in Newport.

The sites have been listed on EV charging apps.

To find out where you can charge your electric vehicle on the peninsula, visit the Transport for NSW map.

Intellihub EV Streetside Charging Station. Image supplied