Public EV charging: Hard lessons learned on what must be fixed

The importance of brightly-painted charging bays, longer cables, and even wheel stops has been highlighted

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  • Jolt concludes key learning lessons from 2.5-year Arena trial
  • High-visibility charging bays, longer cables, wheel stops needed
  • Good design can improve etiquette and reliability

Australian electric vehicle charge point operator Jolt has outlined key lessons in designing effective public charging infrastructure.

The study was part of a two-and-a-half year $2 million trial – with almost half co-funded by the Australian Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (Arena) – involving installing 21 public EV charging stations in South Australia.

According to Jolt [PDF ↗], a number of good design measures can improve user satisfaction, EV charging etiquette, and reliability.

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⚡ Key lessons learned

  • High-visibility marked and painted EV charging bays – there was a “significant decline” in internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles erroneously occupying the designated spaces, compared to only using council-erected signs
  • Longer cables – varying EV model charge port placements and driver parking behaviour resulted in the original four-metre cables being upgraded to seven-metre units in order to reach vehicles
  • Wheel stops – helped prevent collisions with charging equipment and improved alignment with the charging station
  • Remote monitoring – allowed Jolt to check its network performance, conduct diagnosis and maintenance, and improve its services such as predicting peak demand periods which “offers opportunities to integrate renewable energy sources”
  • Customer service – providing customers with information, such as frequently asked questions, troubleshooting instructions, and how-to videos reduced the number of customer support contacts

Some Tesla Supercharging locations in Australia have removed the wheel stops instead in order for its short-cabled V2 and V3 stalls to reach non-Tesla EV models at select sites, but is expanding its latest V4 model globally with longer cables.

Jolt has deployed public 25kW and 50kW DC fast charging stations across Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

It uniquely converts some streetside electricity power boxes and displays digital advertising to offer free charging for the first seven kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day.

Henry Man


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