JET Charge and CEFC look towards cheaper charging for EVs

JET Charge, a specialist in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, has kicked into higher gear following the successful close of its Series A capital raise, which included a $3.5 million investment from the CEFC.

The fundraise will support JET Charge in the deployment of smart charging hardware under a services-based model, to help drive down the cost of smart and connected EV charging stations and make them more user friendly for drivers.

“JET Charge has always believed in supporting mass EV uptake through making charging easy,” JET Charge co-founder and CEO, Tim Washington said.

“To date, we’ve tried to make sure that anybody who wants to charge their EV, can.  However, we need a step change in how we think about EV charging infrastructure if we want mass EV adoption.

“The biggest long-term barrier to EV uptake won’t be model availability, price, or battery life.  It will be the ability to cost effectively, intelligently and safely integrate those EVs into national electricity grids, to maximise the use of renewables while ensuring EVs support a stronger electricity grid.”

The $3.5 million CEFC equity investment, through the Clean Energy Innovation Fund, is part of the company’s latest capital raising round, of $4.5 million, which also drew co-investment from industry executives and private investors.

“Innovative solutions such as those being led by JET Charge are at the heart of our clean energy transition. The more we transition our economy to low emissions solutions, the more we see innovative and new thinking accelerating even more change,” CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said.

Washington said the deployment of JET Charge smart charging technology is an important first step in ensuring that EV charging occurs when the electricity grid is best able to support it.  In addition, it has the potential to allow the matching of EV charging to times when renewable power penetration into the grid is at its highest, promoting the use of clean power for EV charging.

“In conjunction with our globally leading energy management systems, our goal is to facilitate compatible EVs in becoming an asset for the grid, with the future capacity to discharge electricity to homes, buildings and the wider grid when demand is high, and financially reward EV drivers for doing so,” Washington said.

“We believe that through a combination of smart charging, demand response, ancillary grid services and vehicle to grid technology, we can make EV charging effectively free for Australian EV drivers within five years.  That is our goal. We think that if we can make charging free, then the path to 100 per cent lower emissions transport will be shorter.”

JET Charge sees that there is a role for Australian companies in leading a generational change in the automotive landscape.

“Despite our slow uptake of EVs, Australia can still be a global leader in charging infrastructure integration, by showing the world how to balance our EV fuelling needs with renewables, stationary storage and an ever-changing electricity grid,” Washington said.