Home » NRMA chooses Australian tech for battery-backed EV fast chargers

NRMA chooses Australian tech for battery-backed EV fast chargers

The NRMA motoring group has confirmed that is has chosen a Brisbane-based company eLumina to provide battery-backed EV fast chargers, initially to replace the ones removed from its Mittagong RSL site following the financial difficulties of its US supplier.

The NRMA will install two of the D1 EV fast chargers made by eLumina, which feature a 191kWh battery system that is integrated into its 204kW fast chargers. That means that the fast-chargers do not draw more than 40kW even when both “guns” (the eLumina terminology for plugs) are in use.

That is an important consideration for NRMA and other fast-charge network operators as they seek suitable sites across the country’s main grid, and in off grid areas.

The integrated-battery system was the main reason the NRMA chose fast-chargers from the US-based Freewire and installed the first of them at the Mittagong RSL earlier this year. But they have already been removed, at the same time as the US-based Freewire admitted to major financial problems and mass sackings.

It’s been a tough time for fast charging companies and teams, with the Brisbane-based Tritium now in receivership and seeking buyers, and Tesla “vaporising” its Supercharger team and announcing it will slow down the roll out at new sites.

The NRMA is in the midst of expanding its NSW network and rolling out a National network that has been supported by the federal government.

“In selecting technologies for this network, the approach is very much “horses for courses,” meaning that the choice of technology is tailored to suit the specific needs and conditions of each location,” a spokesperson told The Driven in an emailed statement.

“This includes the deployment of innovative, purpose-fit solutions.  in some regional and remote areas, the NRMA is implementing charging stations equipped with integrated battery storage and backup power supplies.”

Part of the the NRMA national network is being delivered in off-grid areas, where the NRMA has so far unveiled at least two off-grid fast charging stations that incorporate solar (usually mounted on the fast charge awning), battery storage and a diesel backup.

It is not clear if the eLumina technology will be used in remote off grid areas, or just as a way to reduce the network strain in regional on grid areas.

Its D1 technology can charge at up to 160kW – if just one car is plugged in – and it has built in eftpos. eLumina describes it as “the only rapid charging solution for locations where limited and unstable power supply is available.”

The D1 product has already been installed at Parkwood on the Gold Coast, at the training centre for the Gold Coast Titans rugby league team, and at the Gunabul Homestead, a golf resort near Gympie.

Its D2 product does not have an in-built battery but can charge two vehicles simultaneously at a maximum output of 180kW.