ARENA announces new grants to develop fast-charging stations

The first grants under a new Future Fuels Fund will see $16.5 million made available to support the development of fast-charging stations across Australia.

Funding will be offered through the recently established $71.9 million Future Fuels Fund, announced as part of the 2020/21 Federal Budget.

The Fund is to be delivered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) on behalf of the Federal Government, through a series of funding rounds designed to reduce barriers to adoption through infrastructure trials, electrical upgrades and commercializing the public charging industry.

The first round of funding will be available to support the development of fast-charging stations (50kW and above) across eight geographic areas, with hopes to expand the network and reduce black spots. In Queensland, this includes the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast regions.

Initially, the funding will focus solely on BEVs, after industry consultation revealed that a lack of infrastructure in key population centres was a major barrier to BEV adoption.

“The first round of the Future Fuels Fund will encourage additional EV fleet uptake in metropolitan areas and reduce concerns about their capacity to travel longer distances in regional Australia,” said Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Angus Taylor.

“The program will make it easier for consumers in regional Australia, as well as fleet owners, taxi operators and businesses, to access the infrastructure they need to embrace new technologies.”

ARENA is requesting that applicants ensure their fast-charging station can maximise private sector investment, be delivered within two years, and be powered by renewable energy.

“Though this initial round, we are addressing one of the barriers to roll out of new vehicle technologies by significantly increasing the number of fast charging stations available to consumers across Australia, and reducing charging blackspots in metropolitan and regional centres,” said ARENA CEO, Darren Millar.

“As electric vehicles continue to become more competitive, it is important we have the recharging infrastructure in place to give motorists confidence they can choose an EV and recharge it conveniently and cost effectively.”

Subsequent funding rounds are set to follow later this year to explore opportunities for hydrogen and biofuels.

For more information on the Future Fuels Fund and how to apply, please visit the ARENA funding page.

Source: ARENA | Future Fuels Fund off and racing

16 February 2021

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