People like me who don’t have a garage or parking lot at home need lots more options to charge their electric car battery.
JOLT aims to help solve this major barrier to electric vehicle (EV) ownership in Australia by building thousands of 25kW DC charging rate stations across the country (so far in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide) partnering with electricity distributors (like Endeavour Energy and Ausgrid) in a world-first initiative to transform existing street side kiosks into state-of-the-art EV charging stations.
How does JOLT work?
First check if you live, work or shop near a JOLT charger.
Currently JOLT offers a experience where the first 7kWh your car fills up (using CSS2 or CHAdeMO connectors) on their network each day is free, which is enough to drive about 30-50km depending on your car efficiency and driving style.
After you have charged your free 7 kWh, you will need to end charging from your vehicle or you will be charged at the specified in app advertised rate per kWh for the remaining charge.
JOLT Charging tested
I tested the JOLT charger location at 133 Liverpool Road, Burwood, Sydney with a with a Kia Niro EV GT-Line 2023 I had on loan for review at the time.
The first time I tried charging the app timed out while “waiting for vehicle”.
I suspected the cable needed some slack. So I backed the Kia Niro EV out by 1 metre so the cable could more easily reach the front charger port. Then I tried initiating a charge via the JOLT app again and it worked fine.
I stopped after getting a 6.941 kWh top up of my battery for free which took 20 minutes at 21.615 kW charge rate.
As soon as I pressed stop I was sent an email by JOLT confirming how many kWh my car received.
If you charge over 7kWh (even 0.01kW more) you will get charged (currently 46c/kW at the Burwood location) with a minimum charge of 50c, probably to cover credit card processing fees.
There is also an idle fee of $1 per minute if your car battery reaches 100% charge and you leave your car parked there connected to the JOLT charger (after a 10 minute grace period) giving you time to return.
This is an excellent idea. All public electric car chargers in Australia should have an idle fee to stop EV drivers treating them like a free parking spot, which blocks other people from being able to use the charger.
Jolt charger business model explained
Ausgrid says that converting their big green street side infrastructure (Ausgrid calls them a “kiosk”) doesn’t cost retail local electricity customers anything.
Ausgrid recently revealed in a video how they upgrade their green street substation kiosks to make them into JOLT EV chargers.
Ausgrid says connection to their kiosks is via a spare distributor slot and there will be no compromising of the kiosk structure. Ausgrid engineering has final sign off on the designs and the electrical connection works will be completed by Ausgrid. Kiosks selected will be directly adjacent to the road to avoid the possibility of trip hazards from the charging cables.
Appropriate signage and bollards will also be installed where required, and all advertising will meet state road and motoring authority standards – they will only display static images on a pretimed loop.
JOLT sells advertising on the screens which funds the capital and ongoing costs, similar to that you see with bus shelter advertising. JOLT also pays for the electricity through retailers just like everyone else and are contributing to the ongoing maintenance of these kiosk assets.
The reason JOLT can give you 7kW of charge free/day is because your attention to the screens is valuable to advertisers who pay for access to your eyeballs.
JOLT also makes money if you decide to charge more than the free 7kWh/day eg: if you leave the car there charging for an hour while at local shops.