Electric vehicle charging Melbourne

A new report discusses the growing number of electric vehicles (EV) in Australia, the potential to lessen their negative impact on the grid, and turn EVs into an opportunity to reduce excess solar production. 

The report, by University of Melbourne and Energy Networks Australia (ENA),  reflects two years’ research into customer use of EVs and their impact on the grid. They provide milestones for actions by governments, networks and market bodies for the short, medium and long term.

The recommendations include electricity pricing that rewards customers for charging vehicles when electricity is plentiful; smart chargers to help move charging to when electricity is cheap; smart meters with EV smart chargers; and the adoption of international standards.

ENA Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, said mass adoption of EVs would be a major new load on the energy grid. While they presented great opportunities for customers and the power system, unmanaged they could risk power reliability and security and increase bills.

“If the right policy settings are in place, EVs can help reduce power costs, lower emissions and support the electricity grid by soaking up excess solar production,” Mr Dillon said. 

“We need smart charging for electric vehicles that aligns with off-peak times, coupled with flexible electricity pricing options for customers to make power supply cheaper when there is plenty of it available.

“This will ensure we can avoid spending more than we need upgrading electricity infrastructure, reducing waste of excess renewable generation and deliver major savings for customers on their power bills.”

Mr Dillon said the EV Integration report made sensible recommendations that ENA would feed into the Federal Government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy consultation and Energy Security Board work on the issue.

The EV Integration project was co-funded by Energy Networks Australia and Centre for New Energy Technologies (C4NET) in collaboration with Australian Power Institute (API).

The full report and webinar can be found here.

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