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Australian electric vehicle charging firm JOLT Charge and Endeavour Energy have partnered in a plan to install up to 1000 electric vehicle chargers in Sydney, as the electricity network provider positions itself to capitalise on an expected rise in zero emission vehicles.

Demand for EVs in Australia has been curtailed by prohibitively high costs, a lack of government incentives, and concerns about their range. But costs are coming down, while technological improvements are also improving the range of new EVs. Many commentators expect a rapid increase in demand for the zero emission vehicles.

Seeking to profit, Jolt and Endeavour will install 230 EV charging stations on existing Endeavour Energy street side substations by 2025. The expansion will grow to more than 1000 over the next decade throughout the partnership.

“Endeavour wants to make sure we are part of that electrification of transport. We can deliver solutions that reduce that range anxiety, and we don’t want any infrastructure to hold back EV adoption particularly at a time when it is likely to accelerate,” Endeavour Energy’s chief customer and strategy officer Leanne Pickering told The Australian Financial Review.

“We are responding to existing demand and looking at the forecasts. When you look at solar in our area, Greater Western Sydney and Illawarra, we have some of the highest uptakes. A lot of them are adopting EVs.”

Endeavour Energy forecasts that one in four of its customers will be driving an EV within the next 10 years. By 2040, it’s predicted there will be around 1.3 million electric cars in the Endeavour Energy network, which covers Sydney’s Greater West, Blue Mountains, Southern Highlands, the Illawarra, and NSW South Coast.

Australia has seen solid growth in EV sales over the last year. Data published last week showed there were 20,655 EVs sold in Australia last year, up 6900 from 2020. New EVs accounted for 1.95 per cent of all new car sales – still well short of traditional petrol-guzzlers, but up from 0.78 per cent of new sales in 2020.

Providing free charging in more urban locations will allow more people into the EV market, especially those who don’t have off-street charging, Endeavour said.

JOLT’s chargers are powered from wind and solar energy. JOLT CEO Doug McNamee said the partnership was a vindication of the company’s business.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our footprint to the wider Sydney area and provide free, fast charging to more EV drivers through our partnership with Endeavour Energy,” Mr McNamee said.

JOLT, which has rolled out its services in Adelaide, is focused on the Sydney market after striking a partnership deal with Ausgrid that will see 500 EV charging sites installed.

Last year, a giant new renewable energy fund of US investor BlackRock purchased a “significant minority” interest in JOLT, providing more than $100 million of capital to start building out a network of charging stations.

The capital from BlackRock will fund the rollout of an initial 1000 charging stations in the next two to three years, building on initial stations installed in Adelaide and Sydney, and targeting state capitals including Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

Read the full story: Jolt, Endeavour to install up to 1000 EV charging stations in Sydney The Australian Financial Review

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