A decade on since the startup was founded by Tim Washington, Melbourne-based JET Charge is now rolling out its Charging as a Service (CaaS) project for electric vehicles with $12 million in support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) via the Driving the Nation Fund.
Other investors in the company include Claremont Capital, Carsales.com.au (ASX: CAR) founder Greg Roebuck and climate-tech investor Simon Monk.
As part of the $24.9 million CaaS project, JET Charge will provide a full-service charging solution and install, operate and maintain EV charging infrastructure for fleets, including for employees who use fleet vehicles.
Fleet operators will pay JET Charge a subscription fee for the service, similar to how consumers pay for streaming services. Through economies of scale, the model is expected to aggregate demand from fleets and provide a lower cost of charging to its customers.
JET Charge CEO and founder Tim Washington says he is extremely excited to be working with ARENA in launching this 'game changing model' for Australian fleets.
"We know that fleets are looking for a way to electrify, and that infrastructure is a key barrier. Our CaaS project will not only increase affordability, but also demonstrate what running private charging networks will look like at scale," he says.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller describes the project as an exciting opportunity that will make EV charging more accessible to businesses and their fleets.
"We know that access to charging infrastructure is a barrier for fleet users looking to switch to EVs, so it’s exciting to see JET Charge developing a new way to make charging more accessible," Miller says.
"Not only will this project put over 3,000 new electric vehicles on the road, but it will also help prove the charging as a service model and hopefully lead to services like this rolling out across Australia."
Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen says the government is backing innovation to decarbonise transport while helping businesses save on running costs.
"Businesses can save a lot on running costs by switching their fleets to electric and we are seeing plenty of enthusiasm from fleet users to offer cleaner cheaper to run cars to their employees and cut down on fuel cost," he says.
The project itself was unveiled at Port Melbourne, where local Federal MP Josh Burns highlighted electric vehicles as the 'future of transport in Australia'.
"I welcome JET Charge’s initiative in establishing Charge as a Service, which will assist more Australians to switch to EV," Burns says.
Fleets account for 50 per cent of new vehicle sales in Australia. Greater uptake among fleets will help grow a second-hand market and help get more Australians behind the wheel of an EV.
The Driving the Nation Program is an ARENA funding program developed to enable the demonstration and deployment of net zero emissions vehicle technologies.
Since 2015, ARENA has invested over $150 million to zero emissions vehicles, including public charging, vehicle to grid trials, innovation in charging, hydrogen refuelling and fleet decarbonisation.
Elsewhere in decarbonisation developments, earlier this week the federal government approved a new renewable energy hub in Plumpton, Victoria which will power more than one million households.
Spearheaded by Singaporean multinational Equis, the Melbourne Renewable Energy Hub will build the largest battery system in Asia and one of the largest in the world. It will store wind, hydro and solar energy from regional Victoria and includes a 2.4GWh battery.
"We know renewable energy is cheaper, cleaner, and crucial to helping us cut emissions and reach our goal of net zero by 2050. Projects like this will help us transform our energy system and build it for the future," Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek said earlier this week.
"This is what action on climate change looks like – cutting emissions, investing in renewables, and better protecting our environment."
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.