The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA’s) Future Fuels Project has launched its first round of grant funding. ARENA invests in projects that accelerate Australia’s shift to affordable, reliable, renewable energy.
Part of their 20/21 Federal Budget, the Future Fuels Project aims to fund battery electric vehicles and help businesses and regional communities take advantage of opportunities offered by new vehicle technologies.
Phase one of the Future Fuels Project was rolled out today granting $16.5 million to the implementation of more BEV – battery powered electric vehicles charging stations. The goal is to remove blackspots in regional areas across Australia and expand the consumer choice to battery powered vehicle options.
This funding will roll out initially to key targeted areas. The eight geographic areas include each capital city, alongside large regional centres including Newcastle, Wollongong, the NSW Central Coast, Geelong, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Each location will receive at least four fast charging BEV stations.
“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,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said.
Electric vehicle consumers need the reassurance that they can drive long distances interstate with confidence that they can recharge their batteries when required.
The website Plugshare maps out all the current charging stations and highlights the need for more stations in regional areas.
ARENA is requesting that all applications understand that the charging stations will need to be powered by renewable energy.
“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,” said Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor in a statement.
Subsequent funding rounds, kicking off later this year, will focus on supporting business fleets to transition to BEVs, in a goal to reduce emissions in the road transport industry.
ARENA’s Future Fuels Project will maximise private sector investments, and drive innovation and commercialisation of BEV vehicles.