Car industry Charging | News

AMPOL has this week opened its first AmpCharge electric vehicle charging site at its Ampol MetroGo site in Alexandria, New South Wales.

The new infrastructure charging is the first of 120 locations Ampol plans to open nationally before the end of next year, and part of a larger plan to provide EV infrastructure charging at service stations and customer homes across the country.

Ampol says the Alexandria site opening is part of the initial rollout of five pilot sites at its service stations across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia with fast charging infrastructure to be trialled at sites including Northmead, Carseldine, Altona North and Belmont over the coming months.

The first five sites form part of an initial roll out to approximately 120 sites by December 2023 as part of an agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced in July last year, with ARENA providing partial funding backed by the Australian Government.

Each site will be capable of providing charge to an electric vehicle at up to 150kW and has the capacity to charge a minimum of two vehicles concurrently.

“The pilot sites have solar panels and solar battery storage provisions which Ampol is trialling with the view to rolling out across our network. In addition, the energy used by our AmpCharge EV chargers will be 100 per cent offset by Large Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs) to net the equivalent electricity consumption,” it says.

“For over 100 years, Ampol has kept Australians moving with the right fuel in the right place. Today, as the energy needs of our customers evolve and more of us are choosing electric vehicles, Ampol is also transitioning to provide a range of fast and reliable electric vehicle charging solutions,” said Ampol managing director and CEO Matt Halliday.

“This first site at Alexandria not only represents the beginning of the initial roll out of 120 EV fast charging sites in our retail network, but the first part of our shift to position as a provider of electricity solutions for customers wherever they need them.”

“The delivery of AmpCharge infrastructure on our forecourts will be complemented by new at-destination charging solutions in places like shopping centres, and our home charging infrastructure offer.”

“We will also leverage our knowledge and strong relationships across industry to provide charging solutions to fleet infrastructure that will support energy transition,” he said.

Under the scheme, Ampol customers will have access to AmpCharge units at home, in service station forecourts and ‘destinations’, the company says, “Leveraging existing Ampol infrastructure and customer relationships to ensure Australians can recharge wherever and whenever they need to.”

At-home (wallbox) branded charging infrastructure is also expected to be developed under AmpCharge, with offers to be made available to consumers as part of a broader home energy offer.

“Electrification and electric vehicles will play a critical role in reducing emissions across Australia’s transport sector over the coming years and we have an important role to play in supporting this transition,” said Ampol executive general manager international and new business Brent Merrick.

“Our vision for the Ampol EV network is to develop a best-in-class EV charging ecosystem enabling the rollout of our own charging assets and allowing us to partner with others to form Australia’s leading EV charging network.

“The milestone today is part of the first-stage rollout of fast charging technology to sites across our national retail network.”

There are now 19 charging infrastructure providers in Australia – including Chargefox, eGo Dock, Evie, JetCharge and Tritium – and over 3000 public EV charging points nationwide. By way of comparison, China has over 800,000.

Locally, EV sales represent only 0.8 per cent of all new vehicles sold, however that number is growing as more manufacturers offer a greater selection of models from which to choose.

The Ampol brand returned to the Australian service station landscape in 2020 having been retired in 1995. It is currently rebranding Caltex sites across the country following the expiry of the American brand’s license.

US company Chevron sold its 50 per cent stake in the Australian operation in 1995.

Ampol, formerly the Australian Motorists Petrol Company was founded by Sir William Gaston Walkly in 1936.