ARENA’s Future Fuels Fund off and racing
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has launched the $71.9 million Future Fuels Fund, announced as part of the 20/21 Federal Budget, aimed at addressing barriers to the roll out of new vehicle technologies.
The first round of the fund will see $16.5 million of grant funding made available to fund battery electric vehicle (BEV) public fast charging infrastructure to expand the network and reduce blackspots.
Funding will be available to support the roll out of networks of fast charging stations (50kW and above) across eight geographic areas including each Australian capital city, alongside large regional centres including Newcastle, Wollongong, the NSW Central Coast, Geelong, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
Each regional location is expected to receive at least four fast charging stations. Applicants should seek to maximise coverage of their fast charging stations across these geographic areas.
The initial funding round is focused on BEV fast charging stations to increase consumer choice, after industry consultation identified that a lack of public fast charging in major population centres is a key barrier to uptake of BEVs for both the public and fleets.
Subsequent funding rounds, kicking off later this year, will focus on supporting business fleets to transition to BEVs, as well as explore opportunities with hydrogen and biofuels.
Applications for the initial round are now open and will close on Tuesday 6 April 2021. Interested applicants should review the Future Fuels Round 1 Guidelines located on the ARENA Future Fuels Fund website here.
ARENA chief executive Darren Miller says the Future Fuels Fund will help businesses and regional communities take advantage of opportunities offered by new vehicle technologies across battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and biofuels: “Through this initial round, we are addressing one of the barriers to roll out of new vehicle technologies by significantly increasing the number of fast charging stations available to consumers across Australia, and reducing charging blackspots in both metropolitan and regional centres.
“This funding by the Australian Government will stimulate the fast charging market and drive private sector investment, and will build on our considerable body of work in this sector.
“As electric vehicles continue to become more competitive, it is important we have the recharging infrastructure in place to give motorists confidence they can choose an EV and recharge it conveniently and cost effectively.”