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UQ Offers Free Solar Powered EV Charging

Solar EV charging

The University of Queensland will offer free top-ups to drivers of electric vehicles after installing four fast-charging solar-powered EV chargers at its St Lucia and Gatton campuses.

The chargers are the first of their kind installed in Queensland and are available to University students, staff and members of the public.

The idea is to drive wider usage of emissions-free electric vehicles in the state says UQ Chief Operating Officer Greg Pringle,

“UQ is committed to creating a more sustainable future, and we see the installation of this infrastructure as a real milestone for the development of sustainable transport in Queensland,” he stated.

“We hope the chargers will motivate staff, students and the wider public to consider the many benefits of electric vehicle travel.”

The chargers will be powered by two solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The two charging stations located at St Lucia campus supply electricity from a 164 kW rooftop solar PV system, while the Gatton stations will be supplied by a 3.3 MW solar farm located on the southern side of the campus.

Each campus has one Veefill EV Level 3 DC fast charger, compatible with several types of hybrid EVs, and one Tesla Destination Level 2 AC charger, designed exclusively for Tesla vehicles.

The Veefill charging station was designed and built by Queensland-based start-up, Tritium – a Brisbane company founded by UQ graduates Dr Paul Sernia, Dr David Finn and James Kennedy, who worked together on UQ’s 1998 solar racing team.

Suitable for a range of EVs with average ranges up to 150km, such as the BMW i3, Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV, Veefill chargers can provide up to 70km of range for every 15 minutes of charging – about 10 times faster than other charging options.

Tritium CEO David Finn says the charging station at UQ was a perfect fit for Queensland.

“The Veefil charger at Gatton is a first for Queensland as it allows easy inter-city electric vehicle travel between Brisbane and Toowoomba,” he says.

“We’ve installed hundreds of our chargers in North America and in other parts of the world, but it is great to see more going in where it all began.”

The Tesla Destination Charger, a three-phase AC Level 2 charger, designed for use exclusively with Tesla vehicles. Rated at 23kW (32 amps), this would provide Tesla Model S EV (fully-charged range 550km) with a range of 35km for every 15 minutes of charging.


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