EV smart-charging trial in Australian homes
AGL and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have completed 200 installations of electric vehicle (EV) smart chargers in homes across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia — part of an $8 million investment. The Electric Vehicle Orchestration Trial is designed to accelerate the commercialisation of different charging technologies and to better understand how customers are using them at home.
AGL Chief Customer Officer Christine Corbett said the project will provide valuable insights into EV charging and how customers can support grid stability through effectively managing their charging times. “We are excited to have finished installing 200 smart chargers so more Australians can test the benefits of smart charging their EV at home,” she said.
Corbett said that accelerating the uptake of EVs would be an integral technology pathway for decarbonising Australia’s economy, but without careful management there was a risk of overloading the grid at peak times.
“In the lead-up to the trial, our customer research revealed customers were happy to have their charging controlled as long as they are able to override that control when they require their vehicle.”
According to Corbett, the plan for AGL over the next few months will be to test a number of charging scenarios using internet-based remote control of the smart charger and direct control of the EV. Over the next year, AGL will monitor the results and receive feedback from customers.
“Projects like this will play a critical role in reducing costs and creating seamless charging operations for our
customers. We have been a vocal advocate for the growth of EVs in Australia with a key focus on supporting access to EV charging for businesses and households and this project will allow greater uptake and implementation into the future,” she said.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the project will provide valuable insights and contribute towards ARENA’s
smart-charging portfolio to help advance the rollout of EV infrastructure. “Smart chargers will play a significant role as EV uptake increases across Australia,” he said. “The installation of 200 smart chargers across Australian homes is an important milestone for AGL’s project, which will be used to identify how we can best integrate EVs into the grid [to benefit] both the customer and the electricity system as a whole.”
Over the past year, AGL has established its electric vehicle subscription service, offering customers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia the ability to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle without committing to ownership. Following AGL’s proposed demerger in 2022, the Electric Vehicle portfolio will fall within AGL Australia.
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