What do the white boxes on NSW power poles mean?

·News Reporter
·2-min read

Soon people in NSW will be seeing white boxes installed on power poles — but what are they?

Thanks to an infrastructure trial in NSW, electric car drivers who don't have access to a garage will be able to charge their vehicles on the street in nine local council areas.

50 electric car chargers will be installed in seven Sydney council areas – Waverley, Woollahra, Randwick, Ryde, Parramatta, Northern Beaches and Inner West – and two Newcastle/Hunter region councils, Lake Macquarie and Singleton.

The white electric car charger on power pole.
An electric car infrastructure trial in New South Wales hopes to provide access to chargers for electric vehicle owners without off-street parking. Source: AAP

The Federal Government’s Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) made the announcement this week, having allocated $871,000 in funding to utilities firm Intellihub for their $2.04 million trial.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said he believes the trial will play an important role in increasing the accessibility of public electric car chargers, with currently one in four Australian households — or 1.9 million — not being able to do so from home.

"Not all electric vehicle owners have the ability to charge their vehicle at home, which is why we’re excited to partner with Intellihub on this trial that utilises streetside power poles, providing a great opportunity to pair with electric car charging," Mr Miller said, Drive.com.au reports.

"We look forward to seeing the results of the trial from Intellihub and hope to see it rolled out right across Australia."

Intellihub CEO Wes Ballantine added that the expected increase in electric car use in Australia will require more solutions such as this.

"It’s expected that as many as 10 per cent of new car sales in Australia will be electric vehicles by 2025," he said.

"That equates to an extra 120,000 new electric cars on our local streets each year.

"Power poles line most of our public streets and that presents an opportunity for the electric car charging market. They’re an accessible, safe, and practical option for electric car charging."

An app that connects with the electricity grid will be used for billing.

If the trial is successful, there will be a wider rollout to more local councils on a commercial basis.

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