Emergence of Off-Grid EV Fast Charging Stations in Australia’s Outback
Emergence of Off-Grid EV Fast Charging Stations in Australia’s Outback

Emergence of Off-Grid EV Fast Charging Stations in Australia’s Outback

September 27, 2023

Progress in Remote DC Charging Networks

Australia is witnessing significant advancements in establishing DC charging networks in its remote regions. These areas, characterised by sparse populations and long distances between major settlements, pose unique challenges, necessitating innovative and reliable solutions for electric vehicle (EV) users.

One such noteworthy innovation is the biofuelled charger at Caiguna, capable of running on chip oil. However, the growing demand for EVs in the country calls for the development of more mainstream charging solutions that are accessible and efficient.

Horizon Power’s Initiatives

Horizon Power, tasked with supplying power beyond Western Australia’s primary grid (the South-West Interconnected System), is actively working on standalone off-grid solutions. These solutions are planned for implementation at fourteen different sites across the expansive state, providing reliable charging options for EV drivers in these areas.

Dan Healy, Horizon’s project manager, shared insights with The Driven, revealing that the first units are undergoing factory testing. Two units are fully assembled, with seven more in production. These units, designed as skid-mounted kiosks, will feature modular Tritium RTM 50 chargers and two CCS2 chargers, ensuring efficient charging for various EV models.

Technical Specifications and Features

The off-grid units are engineered to provide two EV charges of approximately 34kWh each, sufficient for covering 200km before necessitating recharging. The system relies on a combination of a ground-mounted solar array (50-60kW), a battery (70-100kWh), and a backup diesel generator, ensuring consistent power supply and reliability.

These units incorporate intelligent load management systems to prevent tripping by gradually increasing the charging speed to align with the generator’s output. This design ensures a steady and reliable charging process, with the charging speed noticeable increasing during the initial four minutes.

Maintenance and Monitoring

Maintenance and monitoring of these off-grid units are crucial for their longevity and efficiency. Horizon Power has implemented remote monitoring systems and established maintenance protocols for these units. Local contractors across five regions will service all units, ensuring timely and expert maintenance and repairs.

In case of communication failures, the units connected to the Chargefox network will switch to a free charging mode, ensuring uninterrupted services for EV users. This robust system is expected to be fully operational by February 2024, with some additional sites near the WA/SA border slated for completion by mid to late 2024.

NRMA’s Contribution and Future Plans

NRMA has announced trials for three types of first-generation standalone off-grid charging stations. These stations are part of the National Electric Highway project, co-funded by the Federal government. The organisation aims to address gaps in the national charging infrastructure, especially at low-use sites with limited commercial interest.

Carly Irving-Dolan, CEO of NRMA Energy, emphasised the importance of redundancy and future-proofing the charging network to accommodate growing demand. The organization is also considering self-funding additional chargers to fill identified gaps, with the national network expected to be largely complete within 18-24 months.


  1. How many off-grid EV charging stations are planned in remote Australia?
    • Fourteen off-grid charging stations are planned by Horizon Power, with NRMA also contributing to the network.
  2. What powers the off-grid charging stations?
    • The stations use a combination of solar arrays, batteries, and backup diesel generators.
  3. How long does it take to charge an EV at these off-grid stations?
    • The stations are designed to provide two charges of around 34kWh each, sufficient for 200km of travel.
  4. Who will maintain the off-grid charging stations?
    • Local contractors across different regions will be responsible for the maintenance of these stations.
  5. When are the off-grid charging stations expected to be operational?
    • The majority of the stations are expected to be operational by February 2024.

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