The Morrison Government has launched the first round of the Future Fuels Fund to expand the number of public fast-charging stations for electric vehicles to drive uptake and improve motorist confidence.
This opening round will provide $16.5 million in grants to support battery electric vehicle fast-charging stations across capital cities and key regional centres. The Fund is being administered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Target sites in regional areas include the New South Wales Central Coast, Wollongong, Geelong, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. Each regional location is expected to receive a minimum of four fast charging stations each.
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the first round of the Future Fuels Fund would support EV uptake and give motorists more confidence when choosing new technologies.
“The first round of the Future Fuels Fund will encourage additional EV fleet uptake in metropolitan areas and reduce concerns about their capacity to travel longer distances in regional Australia,” Minister Taylor said.
“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.”
Subsequent rounds of the Future Fuels Fund will focus on reducing the barriers for businesses in choosing new technologies for fleets, and supporting more infrastructure for regional Australians by addressing charging blackspots, along with hydrogen and biofuel opportunities.
The Future Fuels Fund supports the Government’s Future Fuels Strategy Discussion Paper, which is currently open for consultation until 2 April 2021. The Paper outlines the Government’s vision to create an environment that enables consumer choice, stimulates industry development and reduces emissions in the road transport sector.
Supporting the roll-out of EV charging and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure where it is needed, and an early focus on commercial fleets are two of the five priority initiatives under the Future Fuels Strategy.
This announcement adds to the $21 million the Government has already invested through ARENA for two major EV charging networks across Australia.
Minister Taylor announced the $74.5 million Future Fuels Package in last year’s Budget, to help consumers, businesses and communities to take advantage of opportunities offered by new technologies including hybrid vehicles, battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.