Northern Beaches Council is “charging ahead” with providing more facilities to recharge electric-powered cars, or EVs (electric vehicles). Three new charging stations were recently installed on the Northern Beaches in Brookvale and Narrabeen by the Jolt power supply company.
These are in addition to the three existing Jolt charging stations in Dee Why, Forestville and Mona Vale, and complement an estimated nine stations provided by other dedicated EV power suppliers in the region, plus a number of businesses and venues that offer battery top-up facilities for their customers.
There are around 20 public-access power centres for EV drivers on the Northern Beaches and more providers expected in the near future.
According to dedicated maps on the Electric Vehicle Council website and the PlugShare website, which provide locations of EV recharging facilities all over Australasia and the world, Northern Beaches district has the following charging stations.
* Alchemy Charge: Brookvale (Harbord Rd)
* BP Pulse: Balgowlah (BP Sydney Rd)
* ChargePoint: Balgowlah (Condamine St), Brookvale (Westfield, Warringah Mall)
* EV Box: Frenchs Forest (KFC, Frenchs Forest Rd East)
* EVUp: Brookvale (Dee Why Market, Oaks Ave)
* Evie: Belrose (HomeCo, Niangala Cl)
* Jolt: Brookvale (Winbourne Rd), Dee Why (Oaks Ave), Forestville (Darley St), Freshwater (Dowling St), Mona Vale (Park St car park), and two at Narrabeen (car park, Lagoon St and Ocean St).
* Tesla: Brookvale (Westfield, Warringah Mall), Dee Why (DY PCYC, Kingsway), Freshwater (Evans St), Terrey Hills (Hills Marketplace),
* Unidentified suppliers: Warriewood (Jacksons Rd, Warriewood Square); Mona Vale Library (car park); Pittwater RSL (Mona Vale). Several hotels provide EV recharging facilities for guests.
Jolt’s Mona Vale unit is the northernmost charging station on the peninsula.
Jolt, partnered with AusGrid, the largest electricity supplier to Australia’s east coast (formerly EnergyAustralia before the public-owned utility was privatised in 2016 by the NSW Liberal Government), claim they are powered by “100 percent GreenPower”.
In a statement on their website, Jolt assert, “We use a combination of Australian green-certified wind and solar energy to power our chargers and fulfil our renewable energy commitment.”
An EV driver who was recharging his SUV at the Jolt Freshwater station told Manly Observer about the procedure.
“Jolt give their customers 7 kilowatts of free electricity every day. It takes about 20 minutes to charge, which provides enough energy for an average day’s commuting. Otherwise the battery takes about 5 hours to fully charge from flat.
“If I need more than 7 kilowatts then I pay through my account.”
This reporter’s maths isn’t great, it took a few minutes of protracted pondering, but I calculated the SUV before me had a 105 kw battery, which is typical of a modern electric car.
I asked if there were long queues at charging stations, considering drivers are spending 20 minutes or longer topping up their vehicle battery.
“I’ve never queued,” he insisted. “There is an app you can download to your phone that tells you when the charging station is available or in use.”
EV battery recharging facilities come in three sizes, known as Level 1/Mode 2, Level2/Mode 3 and Level 3/Mode 4.
Level 1, the lowest, utilises an adaptor plugged into the household electricity socket (10-15 amp, single phase, AC current) with a specialised cable.
This power source tops up a partially-used EV battery in a few hours, providing up to 20km of driving (‘range’). However, it is incapable of fully charging an EV battery overnight (unless you’re prepared to leave it plugged in for days and pay more on your electricity bill).
Level 2, the intermediate, consists of a dedicated EV battery charging unit (32 amp, 3-phase) delivering up to 22 kilowatts of power on AC current. When plugged in for an hour, it provides between 40 – 100km of driving range (depending on vehicle size and weight).
It will completely recharge an EV battery when plugged in overnight.
Level 3, the maximum, consists of a larger DC current power plant delivering 25kW to 350kW of power (40-500 amp, three phase). At maximum output, EV batteries can be fully charged in up to 15 minutes, but common long-distance EV batteries might take several hours to reach capacity, although this delivers a whopping 150km driving range per hour of recharging time.
Northern Beaches Deputy Mayor Sue Heins welcomed the new additions to the EV charging network.
“The state government is aiming for 52% of new vehicle sales to be electric by 2030 and the federal government is aiming for 89%, so we really need to ensure our community has the right infrastructure to support EV uptake,” she said.
“Council is leading by example, continually adding electric vehicles to our fleet. We are heartened to see Northern Beaches residents making the switch to electric and we want to support them by offering more places for them to charge their vehicle using certified green energy.”
In a statement, a Council spokesperson said that Council had also announced its involvement in the new Intellihub EV Streetside Charging Project that will see at least five EV chargers installed on street side power poles.
“According to the Australian Government, the transport sector is responsible for a whopping 19% of Australia’s total carbon emissions. Encouraging uptake of electric vehicles is a great way to reduce our carbon emissions.”
“Council is aiming for a 30 percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2038, as outlined in our MOVE Northern Beaches Transport Strategy.”
The MOVE strategy was launched in 2017 by Mayor Michael Regan who moved a Mayoral Minute at the 24 October 2017 Council meeting. It came a year after Northern Beaches Council was amalgamated from Warringah, Pittwater and Manly Councils (12 May 2016), and four weeks after Mr Regan was elected as the inaugural Mayor of the new administrative body (26 September 2017).
Council currently has a fleet consisting of 25 electric and ‘hybrid’ vehicles (engines run on both fuel and electric battery), five of those fully-electric. More are on order.
Recharging station maps
Electric Vehicle Council
Council’s Electric Vehicle Structure Plan