A researcher from Sydney’s Macquarie University has said that car parks in an electric vehicle future have the potential to become power plants bigger than South Australia’s big Tesla battery.
Professor Graham Town of Macquarie University’s School of Engineering is about to publish research that describes how large car parks – such as at shopping centres – could form mini “power plants” that could help balance the grid.
With cars commonly driven to places such as office blocks or shopping centres and then parked for long stretches of time, the potential is “huge”, says Town.
Town’s research specifically considers the case of shopping centres, some of which are already installing electric vehicle chargers and providing energy for free.
“However it’s on a small scale at the moment,” he tells The Driven. Town’s research asks the question, “What if all vehicles were electric, how would it work then?”
“If you had a substantial proportion plugged in they could be sharing energy, or absorbing energy from photovoltaics,” he says.
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Bridie Schmidt is staff writer for www.TheDriven.io, and RenewEconomy.com.au. She specialises in writing about new technology, as well as using her technical skills in managing our websites.