QLD opens EV charger testing facility

An Electric Vehicle (EV) charger testing facility containing one of the world’s largest and highest-powered electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) testing chambers has opened in Brisbane today.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Mark Bailey, said the Palaszczuk government had committed to another 18 charging stations across inland regional Queensland in Phase 3 of the Super Highway.

Phase 3 will extend from Mount Isa in the West to Goondiwindi in the South. Phase 3, which will use 75kW chargers, is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

“Not only were we the first state in Australia to develop an EV strategy, but we revolutionised electric vehicle travel through delivering the Queensland Electric Super Highway.

“We expect the growth in the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure will help accelerate investment in additional renewable energy projects.

“Every time a motorist makes the choice to fill their tank with energy generated in Queensland, it allows for the continued growth of renewables in our state.

“The $2 billion Renewable Energy and Jobs Fund means electrical vehicle owners will have access to the cheapest, cleanest electricity in the nation, and we’ve already committed to double the number of EVs in its QFleet year on year.”

The facility features one of the highest power commercially accessible EMC testing chambers in the world. The facility is designed to deliver up to 720kW of regenerative power from its integrated system with fully integrated AC and DC power feeds. Devices that demand high power levels to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) certification requirements can be tested here.

In related news, the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has endorsed tentative steps made in the transition to battery electric vehicles.

The Future Fuels Investment Fund, a $250 million injection into the Federal Government’s Future Fuels and Vehicles Strategy, will usher in major investment to technology and associated policy for the freight and logistics industry.

Viewed as a key prioritisation by the VTA, the focus of the strategy is understood to include public electric vehicle charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, commercial fleets, and household smart charging, with funds also allocated for heavy and long-distance vehicle technologies.

VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, said that while the major manufacturers had recognised the need to include zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in their product lines, operators increasing uptake of lower emitting Euro 6 engine technology would help dramatically reduce freight and logistics emissions in the short and medium term.

“The transition towards ZEV freight vehicles has certainly increased in recent years as expectations from the community, industry and other stakeholders about lower emissions have steadily increased,” he said.

“The VTA has had a leadership role in this transition, with consistent advocacy for incentives for operators that adopt Euro 6 engine technology such as discounted registration and tolls,” Anderson continued.

“A progression of this is likely for operators that adopt zero-emission technology but not until these vehicles come down in cost and proliferate in the market.”

Anderson said many local government jurisdictions had already indicated zero-emission delivery vehicles may be granted better access to infrastructure in a push to incentivise their uptake by operators.

While it was important to transition to a future of ZEVs according to Anderson, he made it a point to acknowledge the present environment and the “terrific work” that the fuel companies and OEMs are doing to make diesel more efficient.

“Over the transition it will be important to provide the necessary support to operators to be able to economically make the switch so that our supply chains aren’t compromised by policy and regulation that prices operators out of business.”

In European markets, the electrification of semi-trailers and rigid-bodied vehicles is well underway. Specialist manufacturers like SAF-Holland have also been developing electric regenerative braking axles which help to minimise fuel consumption, carbon dioxide and particulate emissions. Similarly, reefer fridge units linked to an e-axle can be run completely on electricity for a period of time to improve fuel efficiency.