Australian ‘smart’ EV technology could halve charge costs: report

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A world-first trial using Australian-developed electric vehicle charging smart technology has found that it can help to halve electric vehicle drivers’ charging costs, while also optimising utility network performance.

Using technology called ChargeIQ, the project – which was led by Victoria’s Department of Transport as part of the state government’s $5 million Electric Vehicle Trial – featured the first end-to-end use of Victoria’s smart meter infrastructure for electricity demand management.

The results – released this week in a project report available via the DiUS website – found that drivers could save around $250 each year, or about 50 per cent of their charging costs, with very little effort, using the grid-friendly ‘smart’ charging technology.

Developed over three years by Australian company DiUS Computing, ChargeIQ is the world’s first ZigBee-certified EV charger with the ability to communicate with smart meters. It enables utilities and consumers to cooperate for real-time management of electricity demand, allowing drivers to lower their charging costs through flexible energy pricing.

Clency Coutet, Director of DiUS Computing, said these results were of “global relevance,” as they demonstrated how EVs could be integrated into electricity networks “easily, conveniently and cheaply.”

Also watching the results was project partner and Victorian electricity distributor United Energy, who said the primary aim of the trial was to understand the impact of large uptake electric vehicles on the electricity distribution network.

Recommendations from the report included promotion of Smart Grid innovation, and improved demand management of electricity by engaging and empowering consumers.  

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