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EV Grid

Enabling Electric Vehicle Friendly Networks and Neighbourhoods trial  

The EV Grid trial took place from April 2022 to April 2023. The trial demonstrated that managed charging can help balance extra demand on the electricity grid during peak times reducing the need to increase generation capacity or upgrade existing electricity infrastructure.

The $3.4 million trial saw 170 EV owners across Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT trial the use of managed charging (where electricity network businesses manage EV charging times via an internet connected smart charger) to help manage demand on the electricity grid during peak times or soak up excess solar being generated during the day. Participants continued to plug in their car to charge when it was convenient, but their electricity network business could dynamically adjust charging times to balance demand on the grid.

The trial found that:

  • 76 per cent of participants said they would purchase a smart charger, which charges up to three times faster than a regular charger commonly supplied with a new EV and can allow electricity networks to manage charging times, based on their user experience during the trial.
  • 74 per cent of participants preferred managed charging over convenience charging.
  • 97 per cent of participants said they would be willing to participate in future EV trials.

As part of the trial participants had smart chargers installed free-of-charge. On days when there was peak demand on the grid or when excess solar was being exported into the grid, participants received an SMS notifying them that charging would be dynamically adjusted. These were referred to as ‘demand response’ and ‘solar soak’ events. Participants were offered incentives, such as cash-back rewards, for participating in events or could opt out if they did not want their charging adjusted.

With more than 30 per cent of Australian homes having rooftop solar, managed charging can also soak up excess solar energy by adjusting charging times to align with a peak in solar energy being exported into the grid during the day.

The trial was a partnership between five electricity network businesses - Jemena, AusNet, United Energy, TasNetworks and Evoenergy. EV charging infrastructure business JET Charge was the trial’s technology partner, responsible for providing and installing the smart chargers across all locations, and managing the charging orchestration platform. The trial was co-funded by ARENA under the Advancing Renewables Program.

View the EV Grid trial findings report here: