Powering Energy Independence

The successful Springers family business is surfing the electric vehicle and renewable energy wave. While some traditional fuel companies bemoan possible job losses, others are evolving to meet demand, and Springers is helping. The Springers are “Powering Energy Independence,” wherever they can — via solar power installations, and now EV charging stations. Ironically, the business is situated next to a petrol station!

I met with Mick Springer, Director, and David Honzatko, Project Manager, in the Springers boardroom on Monday, mainly for a conversation around the newly installed high speed DC charger at Ampol Foodary Carseldine. Ampol committed to an initial rollout of EV charging stations to approximately 120 sites by late 2023. Springers, a sub-contractor to Enerven, won the contract to install one of these chargers at Ampol Foodary Carseldine. The location was recently energised and the AmpCharge EV charging option opened.

Springers offers a wide range of services around the renewable energy and electric vehicle space. It is not just talking the talk but also walking the walk. Its expansion plans include  updating the company’s fleet of vehicles to electric. They have 2 Tesla Model Ys, one Model 3, and a Model S on order. Plans are to increase the number of destination chargers in the customer car park and install a DC fast charger for staff use behind the warehouse.

The whole site is designed as an EV ecosystem. They have 40 kW of solar on the roof, a BYD battery, and are on the lookout for a range of electric trucks and delivery vehicles. Within 12 months, Mick is hoping to take delivery of a fleet of Ford eTransit vans. Their solar power system was recently refreshed and the superseded system donated to encircle (a local nonprofit).

But I digress.

How do you install high-voltage EV chargers at a petrol station? With a lot of caution, it appears. David explained to me what had to be done. Works had to be performed under strict construction guidelines from Ampol due to the hazardous environment of a petrol station and the constant traffic flow from customers, and, of course — all works stopped when the refueling truck arrived. Some of the activities included the use of a scissor lift to position solar panels to the roof (100 kW have been installed).

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Plenty of solar on the roof.

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Plenty of solar on the roof.

So, it’s not that easy for those who ask: “Why don’t they just put fast chargers at all the service stations?”

Ampol has undertaken future proofing activities at the site during the construction stage, with an electrical pit installed and additional spare conduit runs to facilitate additional chargers without significant disruption to existing civil or electrical infrastructure.

Well done, Springers. I look forward to more stories about the company powering energy independence.


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