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Navigating Australia’s new uptime legislation for EV charging stations

As the electric vehicle (EV) revolution sweeps across Australia, the government is taking significant steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the infrastructure supporting this eco-friendly wave. New legislation set to be enforced in 2024 will focus on the uptime of government-funded EV charging stations, a crucial element in sustaining the growth of EVs on Australian roads. This legislation aligns the nation with global standards and emphasizes the need for reliability in the charging network. 

The Challenge: Broken Electric-Car Chargers 

The surge in EVs comes with its own set of challenges, one being the reliability of charging stations. Broken or out-of-order charging stations have become a growing concern, hindering the seamless experience that EV users expect. To address this issue, Australia is set to introduce standards that mandate government-funded charging stations to be operational 98% of the time. 

Global Standards for Uptime: A Model for Australia 

The new legislation mirrors international standards, with the UK requiring a 99% uptime and the US setting the bar at 97%. This not only ensures consistency in service but also positions Australia as a global player in promoting a reliable EV charging network. The focus extends beyond uptime, incorporating additional requirements such as a common payment system, multiple charging port options, and the widespread use of the Combined Charging System (CCS) plug. 

Uptime Legislation in Detail: Charging Infrastructure Upgrades 

To comply with the legislation, each government-funded EV fast charging station must now have two DC charging units, each equipped with two ports. Stations capable of delivering 150kW or more are required to have at least one ‘drive-through’ bay, catering to larger vehicles, including those towing trailers. 

Furthermore, the legislation mandates that 70% of the plugs at each government-funded fast-charging location be CCS connectors. Cables must be sufficiently long to accommodate vehicles with front, side, and rear charging ports. Notably, existing government-funded charging sites are exempt from these upgrades, promoting a smooth transition into the new standards. 

Exploren: Pioneering OCPP Charging Management Software 

To assist charging station operators in meeting these stringent requirements, Exploren is a type of OCPP charging management software for EV chargers in Australia and New Zealand. Exploren offers intelligent billing applications, allowing operators to bill users for energy usage and time spent at the charge point. Its smart energy management features provide custom load management applications tailored to specific locations and energy needs. 

As Australia gears up for the 2024 legislation aimed at enhancing the reliability of government-funded electric-car charging stations, the importance of robust charging infrastructure cannot be overstated. The global alignment of standards, coupled with innovative solutions like Exploren, marks a significant leap toward a future where electric vehicles are not just a choice but a reliable and convenient mode of transportation for all Australians.