Manufacturing News

Federal government to support electric vehicle trials

New charging technologies for electric vehicles (EVs) will be available to households under a federal government-backed trial aimed at supporting consumer choice in future fuels.

The government will support a trial of various smart and managed EV charging methods on 300 users across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

The trial aims to accelerate the commercialisation of different charging technologies by better understanding how consumers use them at home.

The project will lead to a better understanding of how an EV plugged in at a home can be used to store energy and provide it back to the grid, known as vehicle-to-grid. This is the first time this type of trial will be conducted in Australian homes.

The trial will also look at shifting EV charging to off-peak periods to reduce pressure on the grid, lowering costs for consumers and maximising the use of renewable energy.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the government would continue to support Australians to choose which type of vehicle technology they drive.

“As the uptake of electric vehicles continues in Australia, we are investing in the technology and infrastructure required to ensure motorists can access what is best for them,” said Minister Taylor.

“By trialling new charging technologies within the home, we will better understand the impact EVs could have on our networks and how to save consumers money as they charge.

“The government is backing a range of technologies, not picking one winner. This follows our ‘technology not taxes’ approach to reducing emissions.”

Through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the government will provide $2.9 million toward the project, with the total cost expected to be $8.25 million.

AGL is contributing $5.3 million towards the trial, which also involves project partners JET Charge, Chargefox and FlexCharging and a cohort of distribution networks.

Around 6,700 EVs were sold in Australia in 2019 and sales continue to increase in 2020. Trials like this one will ensure that EVs can be successfully integrated into the electricity networks to minimise any impacts on other energy users.

This trial complements the government’s Future Fuels Fund. To be delivered by ARENA, the $71.9 million Fund will assist businesses and regional communities to access the infrastructure they need to take advantage of opportunities offered by hydrogen, electric, and bio-fuelled vehicles.

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