If you’ve made the plunge and moved to the world of battery-electric vehicles, hopefully, you’ve opted for a car brand that offers free charging here in Australia.
Free vehicle charging not only helps to keep your operating costs low, it also gives you access to public fast charging stations that can add range figures exceeding hundreds of kilometres in the space of a coffee break.
With that in mind, let’s look at the current free-charging offerings you can expect from manufacturers with the most extensive electric vehicle lineups here in Australia.
BMW packages its electric vehicles, like the iX1, iX3, iX SUV range, as well as the i4, i7 and the i5 sedan range with a five-year, unlimited subscription to the Chargefox network.
Owners of the i3 hatch are given a 250kW annual allowance for three years, which is equal to around six full charges per year, with discounted charging rates offered after that initial three-year period.
For buyers opting for one of Genesis’ electric vehicles, like the GV60 compact SUV, GV70 Electrified, or the G80 Electrified sedan will receive a five-year, unlimited subscription to the Chargefox network for access to public free charging here in Australia.
With Lexus’ range of battery-electric vehicles growing, the company is hoping to win over buyers with a complimentary three-year subscription to the Charge Fox network of public DC fast chargers.
Lexus also offers a free AC wall box installation at your home, which can charge at speeds up to 7kW.
With Jaguar sprinting toward an all-electric lineup by 2025, the company is packaging its battery-electric vehicles like the i-Pace, with a five-year, unlimited subscription to Chargefox’s fast-charging network.
Chinese EV company, BYD, has previously announced plans to team up with service station giant, Ampol, to give customers access to DC fast chargers.
The company is yet to confirm details on any paid or free charging subscriptions, though these could come about in the very near future.
German automotive company, Audi, has one-upped the competition with its generous free charging bundle with one of its electric vehicles.
From the date of purchase, Audi electric vehicle owners can expect to enjoy a six-year subscription to the Chargefox network, including access to their public DC fast charging stations around the country.
Mercedes is hoping to increase the market share of its EQ-branded electric vehicles with a five-year subscription to the Chargefox network, as well as an optional wall box for home; though Mercedes does require payment for the AC wall box charger.
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Nissan’s LEAF electric hatchback is one of the original electric vehicles still on the market, with the company offering a 12-month subscription to the Chargefox network’s range of public fast chargers.
After the initial 12 months, charging a LEAF at a Chargefox public charging station is offered at a 40 per cent discounted rate for the next two years.
Porsche is currently offering its all-electric sports car, the Taycan, with a three-year, unlimited-charge subscription to the Chargefox network.
With MG’s range of battery-electric vehicles rapidly expanding, the company has announced plans to create a 3000-strong network of public chargers.
MG is yet to confirm whether these chargers will be free for its owners to access, or if the Type 2 chargers will be offered at a discounted rate for owners of the ZS EV and the MG4.
FAQ: Location of Free Charging Stations by State
According to the latest figures from the Electric Vehicle Council, Australia had 3700 public electric vehicle stations installed as of March, 2023, split across 2100 locations.
The footprint of public charging stations will increase, as government incentives for EV chargers help out with the construction costs of type 2 and type 3 fast chargers.
By state, NSW has the greatest concentration of chargers, followed by Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT.
FAQ: Are EV Charging Stations Free in Australia?
There are a number of free charging stations that electric vehicle owners can use to charge their vehicles without one of the aforementioned subscriptions.
The only catch with these free chargers is that they are typically capped at AC speeds, which offers up to 7kW charging rates, while more premium DC fast chargers offer upward of 50kW charging speeds- though these often require payment or a valid subscription with your vehicle purchase.
FAQ: How Many Electric Car Charging Stations are in Australia?
According to the latest figures, there are 3700 electric car charging stations in operation around Australia. This includes the full mix of free public chargers, as well as the more premium DC fast chargers that require payment or a valid subscription.