Australian start-up Chargefox has raised $15 million to build “Australia’s largest” open, ultra-rapid network of charging stations for electric vehicles (or “EVs”).

A lack of charging infrastructure is one of the major dampeners on adoption of electric cars — and hence demand for battery metals such as lithium and cobalt.

The Chargefox ultra-rapid charging stations will be open to all EVs and charging time will be quick — up to 400km of range delivered in 15 minutes, the company says.

The chargers will be capable of power output of at least 150kW and up to 350kW; the fastest of any charger currently available in Australia.

“Our network of ultra-rapid charging stations will play a significant part in improving the infrastructure of this country and remove one of the major barriers that limits the adoption of EVs,” Chargefox boss Marty Andrews said.

“The charging stations will enable all modern EV drivers to confidently drive between Australia’s major cities.”

In the initial rollout will include 21 locations, with the first stations located in Victoria.

The $16m of funding has come from a number of sources, including Australian Mobility Clubs investment (NRMA, RACV, RACQ, RAC, RAA and RACT), and grants from Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Victorian Government.

Poor charging infrastructure could slow EV ramp up

The lack of EV charging infrastructure is one of the major risks that could slow adoption worldwide, according to Roskill analysts.

“Lack of charging infrastructure may basically destroy consumer demand worldwide,” Roskill told Stockhead.

“A lot of emphasis is in EV manufacturing, but key issues as publicly available infrastructure in cities remain an unsolved issue.”

Fast charger network installers like Chargefox, and Everty, EV products seller GelCo, and EV bus seller Carbridge as well as backers like the NRMA are all working to ensure that Australia is prepared for EVs as battery prices fall and cheaper EV models arrive.