Sydney’s smart pole stations to power up urban EV charging

Paul Eyers
By Paul Eyers
6 Min Read

The streets of Sydney are being amped up with a new type of space-saving electric vehicle charging station.

The power pole-mounted curbside chargers have been installed at nine locations across the city, helping the government power ahead with its transport electrification plans.

Smaller, quicker, and cheaper to install than typical charging units, the groundbreaking tech by EV systems partner EVX is designed to keep Sydney’s streets clutter-free while maximising the use of existing infrastructure.

It will also provide Sydneysiders with more on-street opportunities to charge their EV cars with nine “pole-charger” plug-in points now sparking an electrifying upgrade on previously available charging stations.

EVX CEO Andrew Forster says the Australian-made EVX Polecharger has been designed to meet the challenges utility providers and local governments face in building EV charging infrastructure with sustainability in mind.

“We’re proud of this partnership and are thrilled to be able to supply such a crucial component of our community’s EV charging needs. Areas of inner Sydney with little or no off-street parking will greatly benefit from this service, and these new chargers have been strategically located to serve these communities,” he said.

“The scale-up of charging infrastructure is only going to become more important. Being able to install these eight new chargers in just a week shows that rapid deployment of new curbside charging infrastructure makes it possible to meet the rising demand.”

EV drivers can find and pay for their power-up in advance through the EVX app, which costs $0.50 per kWH, making a recharge accessible even when the wallet is left at home.

Currently, the chargers have a maximum capacity of 11kw per socket. As manufacturers increase the AC charging capacity of their vehicles, the integrated software will remotely adjust the capacity to a total of 44kw per unit.

The station’s electricity provider, Ausgrid Group, says the space-saving tech is a step towards making Sydney’s transition to electric vehicles more accessible, ahead of a plan to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2027.

“At Ausgrid, we are working hard to address issues surrounding electric vehicle charging accessibility. Power pole-mounted chargers are faster and cheaper to deploy than other kerbside charging units and reduce urban clutter, causing less disruption to our surrounding communities,” Ausgrid Group CEO Mr Rob Amphlett-Lewis said.

“We believe as the community sees more charging infrastructure close to their homes, they will feel confident making their next vehicle purchase an EV. Ausgrid is uniquely placed to enable and accelerate broader electrification for an accessible, affordable and equitable net zero future.”

The pole-mounted EV charging points will complement over 100 publicly available charging stations across Sydney.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO, says that adding EVX Polechargers to Sydney’s streets would give the city an extra bit of juice towards meeting its net zero by 2050 carbon goals while providing a smart solution to the city’s lack of recharging accessibility.

In fact, more than 8 per cent of new car sales in Australia are now electric vehicles.

“Research shows that most people who own an electric vehicle will be able to charge at home, work or a public off-street charging point but given the city’s urban fabric, not everyone in our community has access to private parking,” he explained.

“We’re meeting the challenge of providing on-street charging capacity without obtrusive infrastructure taking up precious road and footpath space.”

The new charging facilities have already proved popular among Sydneysiders, with Millers Point resident Melanie Tait declaring the chargers a “game-changer”, saying they will encourage more residents to transition away from petrol-powered vehicles now they know there are easy ways to charge EVs in the city if without private parking access.

“The houses here were built in the early to late 1800s when everyone was getting about by horse, so we are reliant on street-based infrastructure. The same can be said of the apartment blocks which were mostly built with pre-electric cars and lack the necessary infrastructure to facilitate fast charging,” she said.

“We’ve already seen an increase in residents making the switch, which will only continue as more chargers are rolled out throughout the city,” she said.

The new on-street Polecharger stations are installed at the following locations, each with a charging point capacity of two vehicles:

16 Kent Street, Millers Point
12 Trinity Avenue, Dawes Point
55 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont
8 Brown Street, Newtown
15 Carillon Avenue, Camperdown
3-19 Yurong Street, Darlinghurst
2 Huntley Street, Alexandria
27 Morley Avenue, Rosebery
75 St Johns Road, Glebe

EV drivers can check the NSW Government’s EV charging map for a citywide list of public charging sites.

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Paul Eyers has worked as a journalist for a range of media publishers including News Corp and Network Ten. He has also worked outside of Australia, including time spent with ABS-CBN in the Philippines. Stepping away from the media, Paul spent five years sharpening his tools in construction - building his skill set and expertise within the trade industry. His diverse experiences and unique journey have equipped him with an insider view of Australia’s construction game to dig deep into the big stories.