Electric delivery trucks may clear another speed bump to adoption after Ampol revealed plans to install commercial chargers for larger vehicles at its Australian service stations.

The petrol giant announced a partnership with local mobility firm SEA Electric on Tuesday, revealing the companies would also work together to build destination chargers and commercial depots to support the technology.

The deal is one of several announced by Ampol in Australia to boost its electric vehicle-charging network, which is due to reach 120 locations by the end of the year.

Ampol energy general manager James Myatt said the new AmpCharge announcement was designed to encourage Australian businesses to adopt zero-emission vehicles.

“We know our business customers are looking for lower emissions solutions and want to ensure their investment in commercial electric vehicles can be supported with efficient and reliable charging technologies,” Mr Myatt said.

“Ampol is committed to developing an open-access national charging network as well as home and business charging solutions to ensure vehicles can be on the road whenever needed.”

Charging stations developed under the deal will be located across Ampol’s 1900 Australian service stations.

The company has only rolled out five AmpCharge charging stations on its properties so far – in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia – but has committed to installing chargers at 120 sites by December 2023 in a program partly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The new partnership also arrives at a busy time for SEA Electric, coming just days after it announced plans to convert 8500 diesel utes into electric vehicles for the mining sector.

SEA Electric Asia Pacific president Bill Gillespie said the deal with Ampol would help address range anxiety for businesses and make the decision to invest in electric transport easier.

“Through this collaboration, we are shining a light on the fact that electric powered truck fleets can be operationally flexible by accessing convenient charging infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Gillespie said SEA Electric would also deliver roadside support and factory warranties to companies investing in commercial battery-powered vehicles to “simplify the transition to electrification”.

Electric vehicles made up 3.1 per cent of new vehicles sold in Australia last year, according to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, but the transition has largely been focused on passenger cars.

Team Global Express announced the country’s latest electric truck trial in December, however, adopting 36 medium and 24 light trucks for its delivery operations in Western Sydney.


Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
(Australian Associated Press)