Transcript from the EV Transition Webinar on How to charge your EV at home & on the road with NSW energy minister Matt Kean. You can watch the webinar here.
Steve Amor, Pete Thorne, Giles Parkinson, Carola Jonas
Giles Parkinson 00:00
Hello, and welcome to this webinar. It’s another webinar in our series of the EV transition sponsored by ABB, and we thank them very much for their sponsorship. This one’s focused on how to charge your EV at home and on the road. It’s borne out from the fact that I think there’s a lot of people really interested in electric vehicles and still wondering exactly how the charging works. We’re all used to taking our petrol and diesel cars to the petrol station once a week or more or less often, depending on what your driving habits are, and standing there flushing fluid around the place and that’s it. Well, EVs charging is a completely different proposition. Not completely different, but it is very different, and people have got lots of questions about it. So look, we’ve got a great panel today. And we are inviting people to pose questions, ask questions. So that’s the purpose of this, of this webinar. So if you do have a question, please go on to the Q&A link. And some of you might want to go into chat. But if you do have a question, so we can see it easily and we don’t have to sort of jump between different bits, please go onto the Q&A, and we’ll get going from there. What we’re going to do is we’re actually going to start off with a couple of opening remarks from our panelists.
My name is Giles Parkinson by the way, and I’m the founder and editor of The Driven, the EV website, and also of RenewEconomy. And we’re delighted to report that The Driven has taken off. There’s so much interest in electric vehicles, and it’s rapidly catching up to Renew Economy in terms of breadth and numbers of people reading the stories and visiting the website, which is fantastic. I am also an EV owner. I’ve owned an electric vehicle for about a year, charge at home mostly with the solar but we also use one of the charging stations around town, and of course the network when I travel long distances, which is actually more regularly than I thought it would be. Joining us today we have Peter Thorne from Solaray energy. He is another EV owner, and also runs a business that specializes in rooftop solar installations and battery storage. And so can actually sort of talk about the whole package that you might need at home to look after your charging needs. We also have Carola Jonas, the CEO of Everty, which is a company specialized in software and software is going to be a really important part of a whole linking in between this new sort of future grid of renewables and storage and all these home appliances and batteries and electric vehicles and things like that. So that’s an important part. And of course, ABB, our sponsor, is specialized in hardware and electric vehicle charging stations of all sizes, ranging from the small home based ones up to the fast chargbrides that you see along the highway and also even getting into the big ones, truck sized ones which demand a lot of energy. Anyway, look I’m going to without further ado, I’m actually going to introduce Steve. Are you going first Steve? I can’t quite remember now but why don’t we get you to start Steve. Welcome to the webinar. Tell us about your your your interest in the EV sector.
Steve Amor 03:19
Excellent to be here. I appreciate getting involved in these panels. Yes, my name is Steve Amor. I’m the Product Marketing Manager and Product Lead for ABB EV charging portfolio. I do everything from a 7.5 kilowatt charger AC charger right the way through to a 600 kilowatt bus charger and everything in between. ABB’s been involved, well ABB is a fairly old company. It’s been around since over 130 years. And we’ve been involved in obviously everything from medium voltage and electrification products.
We’re very well known for our breaker products, industrial automation, robotics and motion. And we serve customers utilities and industry transport. Our charges are manufactured or developed in, in the Netherlands. And we basically got involved in importing them to a charging company back in 2010 in Eidenhoven and we recently opened our EV Innovation Lab as we keep moving forward with our development of charging in Delft in September 2019. We manufacture all our charges in Italy and a few of them are manufactured in the ABB manufacturing in China. So I’ve been involved in the EV industry locally since the beginning of 2018. But I was involved in it back in 2010 when ABB was originally looking at getting involved in you know, EV charging, so I’ve had quite a bit of history in it. We’ve been rolling out all sorts of different charges, particularly in the DC. I think our specialty is more on the DC side and the high voltage side and recently released a range of AC products, which is going gangbusters as well. So as Giles said, the market is incredibly interested in what we’re doing in EV and in E mobility in general. There’s obviously some great environmental advantages of going down that direction. And, and obviously, some economic ones as well. So looking forward to having a bit of chat today about our role in EV charging. Thanks Giles.
Giles Parkinson 05:33
Thanks very much, Steve. And our second panelist is Carola Jonas from Everty. Welcome to the webinar Carola.
Carola Jonas 05:43
Thanks Giles. Yes, I’m here today to speak about software and making EV charging smart. The reason why we speak about software and being such a crucial part , or claim such a crucial role in this is, if you think of your computer, you can’t really do much with your computer until you have software to create documents and value etc. And it’s the same for software, the software allows you to create different business models and use cases. And, of course, when we look at the bigger picture, the long term when we have like millions of EVs to be charged, then that definitely needs to be done in a coordinated fashion. The ANU has recently published a calculation that when we have 1 million EVs in Australia, and we have over 19 million cars, just 1 million EV’s would make 25% of the energy consumption in the grid. So EV’s are definitely an energy hungry appliance. And they need to be managed accordingly. And say I want to talk a bit about what that means like for for residential, but also for like commercial, like your your semi public and shopping centers, high rise apartments, and then public charging per se. I guess you just mentioned before, we’re not going in any longer to petrol stations. But we do expect that we can charge an EV everywhere where we park and yeah, that is so decentralized and so fragmented. I’m happy to talk more about the different solutions for for different sectors.
Giles Parkinson 07:19
Thanks. Yeah, look, it’s an interesting question about where we are going to put the chargers and how many we’re going to need in public spaces. I look forward to having that conversation later on. Our final panelist is Peter Thorne from Solaray, and Peter, once again, thanks for joining us.
Pete Thorne 07:33
Thanks Giles. much appreciate it. I’m looking forward to today’s webinar. And it’s what’s to talk about and hopefully we can help people understand a bit more about EV charging. So my name is Pete Thorne, I’m from Solaray Energy. I wanted to speak to you on two different areas today. Firstly, as an EV owner, I’m three years into my journey with my EV. And I’m also what’s known as a bit of a techno geek. So I get very excited about a lot of this stuff. Secondly, I also own and operate a smart solar power and storage, integration business. We’re known as Solaray Energy. And some of you will know about us out there. We operate out of Sydney. We deal with a lot of EV owners, and importantly, a lot of prospective EV owners coming along. And a lot of these people want to understand how that can charge their car off renewable energy and importantly, power their homes. So it’s a big topic. And we can see by the amount of people we have on the call today that it’s a big one, and looking forward to sharing lots of information. But as an EV owner I’m very passionate about the technology. And really, I’m personally quite appalled at some people’s approach to ICE cars or internal combustion engine vehicles these days. There is an evolution happening today and it’s moving faster and faster to EVs right across our transport industry, it’s not just cars moving all the way through there. So it’s a good an important topic. And I really do believe there’s no reason for anybody today not to be transitioning to an EV. So in my business, any car that comes up end of lease or simply just needs to be replaced, they’re going to be replaced with an EV. Recently, my business partner, his car came up to end of lease, it was a really simple decision because he wanted to run the numbers. But once he ran the numbers, he could see that moving away from his diesel BMW, and we put them in a Tesla Model S. He’s very excited and absolutely loves the vehicle. And yeah, and we’re charging it for next to nothing. Happy to go through some of those numbers with you today. Rest of the company vehicles I’ve got another one comes up in January, we’ve already put the order in for another car to replace it with an EV and I’m really holding out for when Utes become available because we’ve got quite a few of those utility vehicles we need in the business and as soon as we can get EV’s they’ll all be replaced as well. Back to my car now. I’m three years into the vehicle. It’ll run out of lease, come end of lease at the end of next year. I’ve driven over 160,000 kilometers in this car now. Over the three years my daily commute to the office is 130 kilometers each way, I do it at least four to five days a week. So the kilometers really do add up. But over the last three years, I think I’ve paid less than $100 in charging fees. Okay, I’m really happy to talk to everyone today about how we how we achieve that. We used to drive to Melbourne and Brisbane quite often, that would have been the only time that we’d use high speed charging networks, the rest of my charging is done at home or at the office. Just in this quickly, I’ve got a 12 kilowatt solar power system at home and some storage, generates more than enough power to run the house during the day, charge the battery to keep the house going overnight, we export a lot of power. So that’s how I charge my car overnight at home. So ask me about that. If you want some more information. Then in the office, we’ve got a 30 kilowatt system on the roof – runs both vehicles, we generate more than enough power to run the business and run the cars, charge them work. So it’s all about smart solar power and storage. And please feel free to ask me any questions today that you want to let or contact me later. It’s an exciting time. We’re going to talk a lot today about how you charge and what you can do with software. It really is all about the technology today. And what’s coming and this industry is evolving daily. Alright, so thanks, Giles. Let’s get on with it.
Giles Parkinson 11:14
Thank you very much. Look, and lots of really important points there. And I think you’re right in sort of suggesting that there’s a lot of people out there with a real interest in getting EV’s. I hear quite often that people will say, Well, my next car is going to be electric vehicle. And they’re probably just waiting for the price to hit the right spot, the actual shape and the size of the car to hit the right spot. And unfortunately, in Australia at the moment, we don’t have quite enough choice. And they probably also, it’s interesting that you’re actually sort of transferring your fleets as they’re running out of their leases and doing that. And I think that’s probably going to be the big market that’s going to come up. I just noticed one comment there that that about weekly charging. I didn’t make mention weekly charging, because that’s currently what people with petrol cars do. And I agree with your sentiment. I do charge most days or every second day. And absolutely, it’s, it’s a different thing. You top up. But it’s interesting. Some people actually have a different view. I know some EV owners who just sort of go in and do that maybe once a week or once every so often and just sort of go from low to high. Anyway, there’s a couple of questions, Carola I might just start with you here. You’re a board member of the Electric Vehicle Council. The big news, I guess, in the past week has been these road user taxes before we get into charging. And just very briefly, they seem to be a bit of a disincentive. A lot of criticism about it seems to be quite political. I think we’ve written that this seems to be more of a bit of a revenue grab from the States rather than an assault on EVs. But it seems to me that EV’s risk being collateral damage, because it does actually sort of you know, it distorts the payback for those sort of investments.
Carola Jonas 12:56
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, this has been a huge topic in the last week. And I think when we look at this, of course, at some stage, if we have more and more EVs, we will make less money from the fuel excise I mean, that’s a fact. And when that happens, we need a new model as in how we generate revenue from drivers, regardless of electric or petrol. But I think that the one thing that we need to keep in mind is that we are at the very, very early stage of a massive transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy and electric cars. And so at this stage, I guess everyone would agree that we need more electric cars to curb our emissions and to achieve our net zero emissions by 2050. So at this point in time, we should really be doing anything we can to encourage EV uptake, and slapping an extra tax on them at this early stage is definitely discouraging the uptake. I guess, like I’ve seen an interesting webinar this morning, where someone said, Look, when states generate Taxes they do that for the greater good of the country. We want people to stop smoking, so we put a tax on it because we don’t want them to do a certain thing. So putting a tax on EVs right now, even though they are something that we want, and that we are encouraging at the same time discouraging it, it just doesn’t make sense at this stage, maybe in 10 years from now, but at this point, it is an absolute, the wrong move for any government, plus fuel excise is actually a federal tax and it goes into the federal coffers. So to say that this goes into road maintenance is actually also an argument that’s simply not true.
Giles Parkinson 14:41
Yeah, absolutely not. Look, I think I agree with that. But let’s get on to the questions here. And just a reminder to everyone if they can put their questions in the Q&A rather than the chat panel. That’ll be great because I can just look in one place. The first question we had was how can you park if you park in the street? I think that means how can you charge if you parked on the street ? Good question. I guess that’s one of the challenges of inner city life. Whether you can actually get a PowerPoint to the home or fit a charger there- who’d like to take that question
Steve Amor 15:10
I guess I can sort of answer or comment on that. I think that if you don’t have off street parking, then obviously challenge is how you’re going to get charging. And this is why we need to develop a public charging network as well to support that. Not everybody has a garage or carport that they can connect to. So a lot, you know, what we talk about is that the destination will be your fuel station rather than going somewhere to get fuel. So as you said Giles you charge a couple of times a week, and I’m pretty sure you probably charging at your shopping center maybe, you might charge at your gym,
Giles Parkinson 15:49
My favorite cafe, actually
Steve Amor 15:51
Or your favorite cafe, and this is where we’re seeing a lot of transition with, with a lot of businesses looking to generate income by including charging in their facilities. I mean, when you are filling up in a in a fuel car, you’re standing there and you’re filling it up. Whereas it gives an opportunity that the the EV car is sitting there a little bit longer for charging, that you can actually combine your journey and get a charge at the same time. So we’re seeing a lot of businesses, for instance, take this on, where the you know, they’re supporting their customers, their staff, their vendors that are coming for that you can have a business meeting, and by the time you come out, you might have a, you know, 20-30% of charge, and that will keep you moving. I think the comment that Pete was saying that, you know, you basically, you charge it, what you need, and you keep moving. And that’s the whole idea of EV charging. So it’s not necessary just to have home charging. It’s a good thing to have. And you know, the figures around the world, I think show that most of our charging is going to be done at home or at work. But if you aren’t lucky enough to have that ability, then there are other options
Giles Parkinson 17:02
I just wanted to clarify actually, when I said like charging my favorite cafe, the cafe with the charger has now become my favorite cafe, which is one incentive to actually buy a drink. I did have a favorite cafe before that. But I’ve now moved, no loyalty at all. But now that I’ve got a charger, I’m pretty happy to go there. Carola, you talked before about sort of shopping centers and just in the streets and exactly how many do we need to have? And at what speed and who’s going to make those sort of decisions?
Carola Jonas 17:30
Yeah, that’s a very good question. And I can certainly not yet put a number on it, on how many we should have. Although I have an interesting number. Bloomberg, New Energy Finance said that by 2040, there will be 290 million charging stations worldwide, where in Australia they will be? That is probably up to private businesses or whoever operates and builds this charging infrastructure. It might be governments who do a bit of of building the infrastructure along national highways and in remote areas. But there will be a lot of private businesses like your shopping centers, your residential apartment complexes, your office towers, that will all be driven by the private sector. And so they’ll put in as they get requests from their tenants or from their customers. And we know shopping centers, they love to attract EV drivers similar to you picking your coffee, I go to my local shopping center that has a charger to use that one rather than the one that doesn’t have one.
Giles Parkinson 18:34
There you go.. I’m going to give an expression to you it sound from Phil and he’s got 6.6 kilowatts of rooftop solar on his home and wants to buy an EV next year. They’re at home most days. Could they use the solar to charge the car except when traveling a long away from home. And the current plan is to install a Zappy charger. He’s asked you to comment about the Zappy charger and other options we should consider. I just like to point it out that I’ve got five kilowatts of solar at home. And that’s enough to top up after my average daily trip. Peter? What do you have to say about it?
Pete Thorne 19:06
Happy to have a go at that one Giles. Just say yeah, so you’ve got a quite a good size medium sized, I suppose solar power system there. And it’s going to do well for charging your car, especially if you’re going to be at home during the day. And I’ll just quickly address the Zappy one and I will say now I don’t sell third party charge equipment. Really because just another product we’ve got to try and support, but the Zappy one has some good concepts about it. But it is one of the first ones out there on the market. And there’s been some early issues to do with, not really to do with the product, but with the way it’s come in to the country. But that aside, the concept is a good one. The Zappy product will monitor your grid connection. And if you’re exporting power to the grid, it’s going to it’s going to pump that power into your car. But the big important point there is you really need to have what we refer to as smart solar power. So you’ve got to know, you’ve got to have the information, and this where software and good monitoring comes into it. Have the information on what’s going on in your home. So I charge at home, I don’t use anything, I don’t use any fancy equipment. When I charge my car on the weekends at home, I know the sun’s out by 10 o’clock in the morning generating good power on a nice day, I’ll tell my car to charge then, or I’ll do it from my phone .I’ll tell it to start charging. It’s just about learning how your home operates. But importantly, you’ve got to have access to the detail to know what your base load is, to know when you’re introducing load into the house. So that gives you best bang for buck out of your solar power system, going and installing another third party charger like that, I think they don’t quote me on the prices, but I think you’re starting at about $1,000 for it, that’s a fair bit of money. And you can invest that in a few different way other than just putting more charging equipment in. Depends what you get with the car, and really what you’re gonna do. But it is one of the ways. There’ll be a lot more products coming to market, you know you used to get charge units with Tesla cars. I don’t think they operate, they don’t supply them with the latest, with the model threes that come out now. But you know, so that gives you the option to go out and buy others by keeping the cost of the car down. So hopefully that answers the question Giles.
Giles Parkinson 21:08
Well that’s certainly more effective than the way I do it. I actually go outside to see how many coulds are around the sky, and if there’s no clouds I charge up, and I’m sure there’s a more effective way to do it than that. Next question is: Will three phase power improve charge speed at home? Or does the kilowatt charging them to the cars mean that it taps out on single phase? Peter, just very briefly to you, I think the answer to this is: yes, it will improve the charging speed. And I don’t think there’s any home charges will actually breach the limit of any particular car. Is that right?
Pete Thorne 21:37
Yeah, agree, Giles. Um, yeah, if you’ve got three phase Yes, the car’s gonna charge a lot faster. But as I think the question points out, the car has to have an onboard charger that’s capable of doing it.
Giles Parkinson 21:47
Right. Ok then, fair enough. Steve, um, you’re in this, you represent a big company, presumably talking with governments about their charging plans? And we do have one question here about where the State Government will prioritize new charging locations, from the 25 million allocated, and he talks about Maui, and east of Maui, it’s no good. No charges until Narooma? I guess he’s talking about Victoria. I don’t know whether you’ve got any specialist knowledge of Victoria, and whether any of us do but just in general, what are the State Governments talking to you about? Or what do you glean from your discussions with them?
Steve Amor 22:23
I think we’re actually talking to the State Governments around the country to be honest about where things are going because a lot of the charging has been put in with the Australian Automotive Group. The RA groups where Chargefox and so forth put theirs in. But there has been some projects come up, like the Central Greenhouse Alliance, Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance, which recently awarded, where they’re starting to, the Victorian Government’s starting to invest in supporting the charging, in conjunction with some private investors. So as far as where the chargers go, I think in talking to people like Marty Andrews from Chargefox, they are interested in hearing about where people want chargers. And it’s very much as to where the cars are going, where the cars are being sold. And, you know, currently, they’ve been stuck, been put on the major routes. And now we’re starting to see the NRMA area, the NRMA, routes going out into regional areas. And same with Victoria. And I think you’ll see that in other states as well. And then it just comes down to the size of the chargers, because in a lot of these regional areas, there isn’t a lot of power. So the size, the amount of power that we can get to the chargers is dependant on if we can put in any and if we can upgrade the power there. Whether we put in an E house like ABB produces E houses or a battery energy storage to support that, then that’s, you know, that’s something that needs to come up into the economics of it, but it’s certainly on the cards and certainly being discussed. We’re talking with the energy ministers and the transport ministers about where these products should be going. And I know the EV Council is as well, so
Giles Parkinson 24:15
Well I hope theyre sounding very interested, Steve, we certainly want them to be. Carola, a question for you. Mark runs a large fleet and is looking at migration to EVs. Well done Mark. In the future, he says. Question is: how do employees get compensated for charging a company vehicle? Is there an app or software solution to pay into drivers account?
Carola Jonas 24:37
Yes, so that depends pretty much on where the drivers charge the corporate fee cost. A lot of corporates install charging stations at their own offices so the cars can charge there during the day or overnight. When staff members take the car home, then we definitely suggest they install a smart charger that can make use of our software and then all the charging sessions and the kilowatt of electricity to supply to the car will be recorded. And then therefore, the employer can reimburse the staff member for paying for the electricity up front, through the measurements with the charger,
Giles Parkinson 25:19
Final question here too about how to hack into your EV to avoid those bloody road taxes? I think it’s gonna come down to your odometer reading. Is there any way of doing that? Some software gadget? I think the answer is probably no. Peter. Where’s that question gone? It’s a question about NRMA rolling out charges which are compatible with CHAdeMo and CCS 2. As far as I know, only the Leaf uses CHAdeMO whereas they are excluding type two, which is used by many more models and can charge up to 22. You know, is that right? I supposed to have CHAdeMO because there are people who do drive around in the Leaf and people are probably importing some of the secondhand Leaves from Japan. Have you got any other theories about that?
Pete Thorne 26:08
Yeah, so because I suppose they had to make a decision as to what they’re going to put on the charges and they did go with CHAdeMO. And then with CCS2. CCS 2 is compatible, of course, with a lot of the Tesla vehicles out there, or with a lot of the newer Tesla vehicles out there unless you upgrade an old one. But yeah, Type 2 is always a bit of a concern. But it is now becoming a bit of a legacy product. And I’m not actually aware of a adapter that you can go from Type 2 to CCS to either. I think it is a real concern, but I don’t see any answers coming out of it anytime soon.
Giles Parkinson 26:45
Steve, are we headed to like a unique, like a standard. I mean, we seem to have, we’ve had a couple of different ones going around.
Steve Amor 26:54
I think in this country, we were really into CCS2 and Type 2 AC. They’re pretty much the two main ones. 95%/ 98% of the cars that are coming into the country have them. The the only two cars that have CHAdeMO, the the Mitsubishi Atlanta hybrid, and the and the Leaf that are coming in currently, but there are other Japanese cars that are coming, that we’re aware of that will have CHAdeMO. The other thing is that a lot of the early cars that came out into the country, the Mitsubishi Mivec, for instance, had, I think that was an AC one, but a lot of them come out like the BMW i3 came out with various different other connectors as well. So the standardized connector in this country is generally Type2 AC or the AC connector, and CCS2, which is a combined charging standard for DC fast charging. The standard that’s being worked on now, the limitation of CCS2, it’s that it’s only 500 amps. And I say only because there’s not a lot of cars that can obviously take the higher power that our 350 kilowatt charges, for instance have 500 amps coming out of the CCS connector. And once you start having that sort of power coming through a connector then the cable gets very heavy. And the way to do that is to reduce the cable core by cooling it. So refrigerated cable is the way that’s done. That means that members of the public can pick that charger up fairly easy, or to connect up feel easy, and to connect. Moving forward, when we start to get to the bigger trucks, and, you know the construction vehicles and vehicles that we use in mining and those sorts of things, the Shaolin group is now looking at an MCS which is for medium voltage or up to one megawatt of charging. So these are the sorts of connectors that are coming. But standard for those that are listening, generally people listening CCS and SHAdeMO are the two that we use in this country. We don’t use any other and the bulk of those are CCS2.
Giles Parkinson 28:57
Thanks, Steve. Carola, we’ve got another question about EVs as storage. Discussed a lot a few years ago, doesn’t seem to be on any cars bar the Leaf that can do that. Why is that? And will that change in the next year or two? This is where software comes in. I mean, it’s true that the Leaf is probably the only car that still sort of declared its going to do vehicle to grid or vehicle to home. I know that there are hurdles in Australia getting it standardized and becoming an accepted part of the network and infrastructure and things. But have you got any other observations about EV to grid? I mean, I know it’s being considered by people like the Australian Energy Market operator as a fantastic resource. And by many people on the network operators and things, it’s just a matter of just tapping into that somehow.
Carola Jonas 29:43
Yeah, absolutely. Um, you’re right at this stage, the Nissan Leaf is the only one who can feed back into the grid or has V2G technology enabled and that is due to the CHAdeMO plug because that charger is actually also able to feed in bidirectionally. CCS2 is working on a solution, and I know that Tesla has also announced they will at some stage allow V2G or V2X like vehicle to anything, could be vehicle to the home, could be to a battery, could be vehicle to vehicle, who knows, like there’s many, many forms of this. So this will definitely happen. I think the the biggest problem as always is regulation and is the energy market at scale. So you will need some specific operators or points where all of that is orchestrated. So we still have to do a lot of work before this becomes a day to day use case. But there’s already trials going on in Australia and around the world. And so yeah, if we give it a few more years, then I’m sure we get there.
Giles Parkinson 30:48
Peter, Couple of questions here. We’ve got one from a renter and another one who lives in a block of flats, they both want to know what their charging options are if they get an electric vehicle. I suppose with a renter and the question here specifically: How can I charge my vehicle at home without changing the electrical wiring in the house as I don’t own the property? Is this possible? I don’t think you need to change the wiring. And the other one about the people in the units, in the block of apartments, I guess, probably convince the body corporate to put something useful in the garage or something like that. But any any old PowerPoint will do wont it? To a certain extent?
Pete Thorne 31:29
Yeah, so charging those cars, most cars out there today will charge from a PowerPoint. So if you’re just renting a house and you want to charge a car, you know, charging overnight, getting eight hours charge into it’s going to get you quite a good, quite a fair bit of range. But this topic of what you can do in a in a strata type facility, people go and try and charge in car parks. But we’re seeing daily examples of where body corporates are now installing charge infrastructure into buildings to be shared by the tenants etc. And it’s a big one. Again, it’s another opportunity for software solutions to get and billing companies to be able to get in there and help with that and get it there. But it’s going to very quickly become a bit of a draw card for people to move into buildings when there’s charging infrastructure in the carpark. So it’s an important one. And we really encourage everybody, and we encourage all our customers to speak to their buddy corporates and start to educate them, not bully them. But yeah, educate them into what the benefits are charging, because there’s more and more cars on the on the road these days and sitting in car parks and they definitely need to charge. So there’s that that big opportunity there for both business and for body corporates to work to add more value to their customers.
Steve Amor 32:41
I think if I can add something there too Giles. For, for an individual landlord, there’s good arguments for them to actually install charging. Because to be able to sell a house with features such as solar, and security, those sorts of things, it adds value to the home. And the ability to just upgrade the switchboard, the owner of the vehicle have their own charger, but as long as the switchboard is set up to, with a 32 amp circuit, it can actually be connected up to a charger. So it could be a bit of a negotiation between the landlord and the, and the vehicle owner that this could be a good thing. And like you know, I think that’s that’s going to come more and more because more cars are going to come on the market and where you’re going to rent. If you own an EV, I’m sure Giles if you were going to rent something with your car, you would be looking at a place to be able to have charging. And so it’s a becomes a competitive advantage in the rental market if you have charging on your house.
Carola Jonas 33:44
Hmm, yeah, just quickly want to add, we have actually, for example, a charging station in a large Sydney high rise apartment block. And so that apartment block features 300 apartments. So in this case, the developer said, okay, we put charging in and we let the user do user pay for the charging. They did that not just because they wanted to be fair to the people who have an EV and the people who don’t have an EV, they didn’t want to give away free electricity. But they did that for the main reason that if they left it to the tenants, and they have 300 of them, if each of them starts installing something left, right and center, there’s no coordination, there’s no load management. It’s up to the building owner and the developer to then look at the the supply from the grid and how to deal with that. And so in order to avoid all this messiness, it is better if strata actually says okay, we’re going to take charge of this, we implement it and then either they can bill on to their tenants or they make the charging stations as a user pay system available to them.
Giles Parkinson 34:51
Fantastic. Great advice.Peter, back to you. From Mark I have rooftop solar. Before I get an EV, a battery and swap over to heat pump hot water, what do I need to consider for a home electricity management system to manage all the inputs and outputs?
Pete Thorne 35:08
Yeah, thanks, Giles great question. And importantly, so if you’ve already got solar power, home storage is a good one. Importantly, to get it, get a good home storage system in and really understand what your home is doing. And a lot of the points there are around energy efficiency. But again, it right back to that original point I made earlier about, you’ve got to know what’s going on in your home. And make sure that if you’ve got a solar power system now or storage, or if you can get one in the future, make sure you get a good smart solar power and storage system that’s going to give you the data. If you’ve got that you understand what your house is doing, you know when the power is available for your car, and that’s how you’re going to really reduce your costs and charge for free. But it’s really important to have that smart equipment available and get the monitoring there so you can see it in front of you and work on actual facts, not guesswork on, you know, what’s going on, you can look at it look at the graphs and understand what’s going on in your home.
Giles Parkinson 36:04
Steve, one for you. Um, this is a few questions here about sort of public charging stations and sort of, I think fast chargers and ultra fast chargers and things like that. And a couple of questions. One is about the price. And there’s of there’s been a bit of controversy recently with the Tesla superchargers jump from 40 cents a kilowatt hour to 52 cents a kilowatt hour. Some of the other ultra fast chargers, around about that same sort of thing. You guys sort of made these ones. I don’t know how many you’ve got in Australia, but is it reasonable to expect that superfast charging is going to be any cheaper? And people have observed that some of your competitors, this might be a free kick for you, have been having a few problems with the reliability of their chargers. Um, what’s the issue there? Are you just better than the rest or is it, was actually complicated?
Steve Amor 36:55
Um, okay, yeah, two points. So with regard to the, the actual charging and billing of the chargers, one of the things one of the misconceptions is that if you get on a 350 kilowatt charger with Nissan Leaf, you’re going to be charging at a superfast speed compared to a 50 kilowatt charger. That’s not always the case. A 350 kilowatt charger, for instance, will work really well on, for instance, on a Porsche Taycan, which will hold that level of charge longer and be able to put more charging up quicker. Whereas a car that’s got a 50 kilowatt battery in it, it will take that a lot slower. So as far as the perception that are fast charging, if there’s a difference between normal chargers and the faster charges, it’s very much on vehicle, the actual way it’s going. As far as the billing ABB doesn’t really get involved in the in the billing side of the chargers. That’s normally done by the operators of the chargers – I can’t really comment on the actual billing dollars that you’ve been charged. As far as reliability, one of the things with EV and the take up of EV is having a reliable infrastructure, vitally important. And we run the risk of, you know, having negativity in the marketplace, more negativity in the marketplace if we don’t have that. So ABBs charges, we have ours fully connected by 4g and Ethernet. And we have 24/7 remote monitoring on all the ones that we’ve installed. So we can basically talk about 99% uptime and 75% of any failures can be diagnosed and even repaired in some cases, remotely. They’re designed to be remotely connected. As far as charges being offline, there can be a number of different reasons for that. Whether it be a technical fault, but it comes down to service. And so we have a good service agreement with all our chargers that we recommend that they have a 12 monthly check. So that you know we don’t have insects and things growing inside the the bodies if they get in there, dust is cleared out of the vents. And various things are checked at service. And that is a vital importance for operators when looking to install charging. And as I say it’s, I can’t stress it enough that it’s important that these chargers are running all the time. You can imagine on a bus fleet for instance, if the charges go down, that’s hundreds of people, thousands of people that have the inconvenience because we can’t recharge a bus. So yeah, it’s really important that we keep good spare parts and a good service regime on the chargers.
Giles Parkinson 39:54
Derek asked about this EV challenge of marrying, marrying EVcharging with solar output. For obviously good reasons, we’ve got this massive amount of solar being produced in Australia now and we’re looking for things to soak up that, create sort of sponges. How do we encourage, well, the question is how do we, councils, I guess there it works with the council and encourage a daytime charging place of work and commuter parking and distributed PV?
Carola Jonas 40:17
Yeah, so great question. I guess there are two things: there’s marrying the EV charger with solar generation on site. So if you have like a library building with a solar system on top, then of course, you want to make sure that these charges are connected, and you use as much of the energy generated from your system before you feed back into the grid. And then there’s the broader picture. If your charges are just normally wired into into the normal electricity supply off the building and into the grid, how do you then encourage daytime usage when solar generates and we have that curve. So for that you can look at pricing mechanisms, you could make it free at certain times. There’s various opportunities. But in the end, it all depends on how the EV drivers use their cars. Most people still charge overnight because they’re out and about or they drive around because they’re working in professions where they’re on the road. So you really need to look at the the micro and the macro level of what does the mass of EV drivers do and what is maybe a particular circumstance in a company or a home?
Giles Parkinson 41:36
Yeah, Annie asks, How can we find out if a fast charging station is mostly using solar or green energy? I guess it depends on the philosophy, the people who have installed the network.
Pete Thorne 41:50
it is going to come down to who’s who’s running that network importantly, so that it is an ideal, most of them will will go after. But really importantly, you know, from the public’s perspective, you need to apply that pressure to them to make sure they understand that’s what you’re looking for. Mostly the drivers like it. Most ICE car drivers love to point that out when they see a diesel generator running somewhere. But here it is, it is important. And that’s a bit of lobbying on the people that are running those networks.
Giles Parkinson 42:20
Fair enough and look at related question, Pete. How long will free fast charging last? I guess you as a as a Model S driver, the answer is probably forever. But it’s not quite the case where the other Tesla cars and I know NRMA in New South Wales are offering free charging at the moment. That’s not going to be forever, but it might continue to be so for their members. I’m not sure what’s happening in other states, actually. Have you got any thoughts on that? Or visibility on what’s happening?
Pete Thorne 42:50
Yep, sure. So, on the East Coast, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, all the motoring bodies are running, programs, installing fast chargers everywhere. And importantly, I’m also a member of the NRMA, don’t need the service, they wouldn’tbe able to do much to my car apart from putting on a tow truck and take it somewhere for me. But I did join the NRMA because they are investing heavily in EV in their EV charging network. They are doing a lot of great work in one, building the network and two, encouraging their members to understand EVs and three, they do a lot of work in batting off all the bad feedback they get, they’re really positive in their responses to their members. A lot of their old time members are out there saying why are you investing money in EV charging? So that’s really encouraging them to keep that moving. And importantly, it’s been a big win in Queensland. What was it called up there, the electric superhighway?
Giles Parkinson 43:44
Pete Thorne 43:45
We’re going all the way up the north coast. I think it started somewhere down near you Giles. And importantly, that it’s right across Melbourne as well. RACV is putting in a lot of charge equipment down there. And you see a lot of it down in Canberra where they do it. So encouraging these motoring bodies to keep doing it and by joining them is the way we encourage them. But importantly, you know that their charging capacity is always a good one. I’ve got a local one near me that I’ll duck in and check down in the Southern Highlands. I’ll just tuck in there and check and make sure it’s always working. But you know, a lot of the model three drivers do go into that. And it’s a it’s got the CHAdeMO and CCS2 on it so there’s always a lot of Nissan Leaves in there as well. So I think a lot of that side will keep going. People like Tesla have got their charging network right the way across the eastern seaboard. Don’t talk to people in WA – they’re very bitter about it. But you know, that network won’t, won’t stay free forever and they’re now starting to charge quite heavily for it. But it is a it is a very fast charger and importantly very convenient.
Giles Parkinson 44:49
Steve, question for you here from John. Hi John, I think is the same John that same setting up an EV supporters group or EV network group in Dulwich Hill. So if that’s the case it’s theJohn I know quite well. He’s got the question: any idea how we can get around the 100 amps supply per house?
Steve Amor 45:10
That’s a very good question. I don’t know whether I can answer that one sorry Giles. I don’t know how you would get around that. Probably Pete might be able to. might be better positioned to answer that one than me I’m sorry.
Pete Thorne 45:24
Um, so most homes on single phase are being limited ADM supplies these days, you can get a larger supply. It’s just speaking to your electrician, making sure there’s infrastructure in the street. If not, though, it needs to be upgraded. And you can pull in a, generally better to go to a three phase supply, three phase 80 amps and then you get large residential properties will go up to 200 amps supply services, but something to speak to your level two electrician or when you do the planning for a build. Make sure you get the power supply you need for most EV charging though, you don’t need anything that large. A good three phase supply is more than enough.
Giles Parkinson 46:02
Carola there’s an interesting observation you were talking about the strata units before and Paul says that unless the strata complex already has a bylaw prohibiting EV charging from a complex power point they cannot stop an attendant guest from doing so which may act as a spur to installation of a charging unit by a body corporate.
Carola Jonas 46:22
Yes, so, I am not aware of that. But I guess when it comes to people installing more and more chargers, whether it’s in the bylaws or not, when you hit that problem, that there’s simply not enough electricity available, and you’re starting to threaten the supply to the whole building, then the body corporate or strata will put a stop to it no matter what. So I think yes, people can surely install their their own device right now. And then its the problem for the people who come after them. But whether that’s the right approach, or whether we just find a better way in managing energy for strata buildings, I would advocate for the second.
Giles Parkinson 47:06
Okay.Fair enough. Is there a guidance document for body corporates as to how to do this?
Carola Jonas 47:11
I don’t think that there is a public resource. That’s a good point. But if anybody has questions about it, they can always contact me at [email protected] or just visit our website.
Giles Parkinson 47:26
Steve, I think I had one for you, but I just can’t find it. Personal frustration: charging stations that need a BYO cable. Imagine if the servo asked the ICE car driver to bring your own hose? Is just a transitional thing?
Steve Amor 47:43
I actually don’t, I’m of an age where I remember the pumps for your tires, the you know, the way you go to get your car, pump your tires up and the actual connector was busted. And you go Damn, I’ve got to go somewhere else for that. As far as having your own cable, it’s only two for AC charging. So DC charging is a fixed cable. So you shouldn’t have that issue there. But I am an advocate for public spaces for people having a socket version rather than a fixed cable. And the reason for that is, one, obviously that the infrastructure can get damaged, and two, that you’re not always sure as to where the receptacle in the car is. You know, you look at something like a an E-Tron, and it can be right up on the a pillar. You look at a Hyundei and it’s in the in the grill, and in others in the quarters. What that means is that you may have the inconvenience that when you pull up to that charger the cable may not fit. So being able to have a selection of cables, and I’m sure the EV drivers on this panel here, probably carry a couple of cables in the car. And it’s simply for that reason, you’ve got your own reliable connector that you know, it’s not being damaged, that hasn’t been mucked around with and it will work. So, it may be a bit of an inconvenience to have your own cable but I would always encourage people to have cables with them for that very reason. Because if we’ve got a fixed cable with someone that’s damaged it or willfully damaged the connector, it’s no good to anybody. And then we have to go and change that out. So yeah, I’m an advocate actually for sockets on AC charges for public areas.
Pete Thorne 49:31
Yeah, I’d agree with that as an EV driver, I carry all the cables in my car, so I can plug into any power point, including a 3 phase power point, or I’ve got Type2 cables. You get those little charge units that people put in shopping centers these days. It’s just yeah, BYO cable. And it’s easy to just have the cables with you. Yeah, you’ve got to know which ones to have. There are adapter cables that you can use as well. It’s just about setting up the car properly and yeah it makes a lot of convenience.
Carola Jonas 49:59
Yeah, same for me, I do carry a cable and, and I think one thing that is important for the socketed chargers. We all know how we treat like, let’s say how we treated the pushbikes that ended up in all sorts of places. And it’s no different with charging stations, I have seen charging stations where the cable management and the holders and everything like fell to pieces, so I’d rather have a clean pole with no cable, and I attach my own cable that I’m looking after. And I know that it’s working well, than a messy situation because we can’t all have nice things and treat them well. .
Giles Parkinson 50:38
Hey, Pete, another one here. This is an off grid question. And I hope you can answer this one. Um, he’s got an off grid AC coupled solar system, which charges his Generation One Leaf without problem. But he’s now looking at a larger battery EV such as the Kona or Tesla. When charging new EV, I want the power demand of my house to take preference over the EV. What charging hardware and software do you think I need? Or should I consult? Or who should I consult to start the process?
Pete Thorne 51:06
Okay, so there’s in an off grid situation, and this answer be very specific to off grid. Importantly, you do need to, again, have control of what’s happening in the home. And yes, you’ve got to really be able to prioritize what’s happening with it. There’s plenty of equipment out there. And I don’t know, Steve, if you got anything from ABB perspective, but I’ve seen other products out there that can do that. And you’ve got a set a priority for what gets power. And again, it’s it really just is quite a simple software solution. There’s more and more development going into every day. So I’ve certainly seen it. Out there, there’s different off grid products that will do it. But then you need to have the generation capability and the storage capability there. But importantly, it’s about understanding what your load one, your load in the house is going to be and how much power you want to get into the car. And and I saw a question earlier about somebody talking about, Giles that you mentioned earlier about, you know, weekly fills and all that sort of thing, filling up a car. And really not really necessary with EVs and somebody made the point quite clearly on the chat there or on the on one of the questions about it. You don’t need to fill the car up all the time. Although I do guess I travel so far. Every morning, I wake up to a full battery, or call it a full tank, whichever way we’ll look at that. You know, so I know I’m ready to go every morning because I off grid charge off peak charge overnight. And that’s the same thing in an off grid situation. It’s knowing you don’t need to go to 100%. So the battery in the car only may need to go to 50% if that’s what your requirements are, so a bit of research into it and it’ll work.
Giles Parkinson 52:43
Fair enough, Steve, we’re getting towards the end of the thing here. Um, what’s your standard, what’s your sort of ideal sort of setup for a home, your vision of ofthat sort home? How should people think about you know, Youre going to get an EV, what should you be thinking about?
Steve Amor 53:00
Solar. Battery. All the above Giles. I think really an example that Pete’s given you know, where you’ve got a solar system and stuff, you’ve also got that with a smaller connected charger, what I would suggest to people that they consider nothing more than an 11 kilowatt charger, because most of the cars out there AC charging is limited by the size of the converter on the vehicle. And whereas in previous times 22 kilowatt was very popular, it is a three phase where most houses obviously are single phase. So 7.5 kilowatt, 11 kilowatt are probably the two biggest that you need. And really, you might as well save yourself some money and just go to a seven and a half kilowatt. And I would always go a socket version. Because, again, for the reasons that we mentioned before, but also if you got one car, most people will probably transition to one car first. But it’s probably more than likely that you’ll charge two cars. And if you’ve got a fixed cable of 3.9 meters, you may not be able to meet the other car so you’ll be shuffling around the garage the whole time. So you know, having the ability to have a fixed point, it can serve as two vehicles from the one the best. And I would, I would also advocate what Pete was talking about before, having something that has Bluetooth or internet capability that you can actually operate it from your phone or set a timer for it so that you can actually have the ability to charge off peak and remotely do it. So when you get out of your car, it becomes a normal thing to plug the vehicle in, go inside the house. And then when you’re ready, you can either set a timer in within the charger like with ours, or you can actually operate it through your phone to make sure that you’re getting a charge overnight. So in the morning, you’re up and you’re ready and you’ve got a full tank of fuel again,
Giles Parkinson 54:56
Terrific. What about you Carola? Do you have any sort of views on that anbout the perfect setup or do you? Yeah.
Carola Jonas 55:05
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, as Steve said, being able to start and stop a charge from your couch is obviously quite convenient. But also looking at potentially third party integrations, as Pete would would be working on, like, our software also allows to get signals from an inverter or like a third party system. And then with that, you can really start optimizing your energy consumption. While we’re targeting more like the commercial sector, like the big property developments with like 30 management systems, the same can be applied to a house and you can make that smart too.
Giles Parkinson 55:45
Just maybe a couple of final questions. Pete, there’s a couple of them. Bit a discussion going on about the evidence that limiting battery charge protects the battery over time in an EV. And somebody else makes the observation, which I think is quite true that you shouldn’t charge above 85% unless on a long trip. I’ve actually heard that it might be 80%. So when you say that you’ve got a full tank, what are you charging up to? Is that a bad habit to get into? And is there also such a thing as Super charging too much?
Pete Thorne 56:14
So yeah, good question. I hear a lot of that discussion around many of the different forums. Personally, from my vehicle, I charge 90%. My regular charge will get a 90%. If it’s a een a cloudy day, the day before, I’ll pull the charge right down to 60%. And then work out what I am going to get to work that day. I don’t, I’m not really aware of any real issues of high power charging too much causing much problems to batteries. We’re not talking about, you know, dumb car batteries, or that and all the battery systems in cars these days are backed by what’s called a BMS, which is a battery management system. And they will all manage themselves. And they will deal with the issues of any overcharging that’s happened, etc. And they will cycle themselves to, to manage that. And so yeah, and there’s a lot of power running through these batteries. So they’ve got to have a lot of credibility in them to make sure that they’ve got a capability to charge and discharge and manage themselves to keep that rate of charge up there. Again, it’s just understanding what the thing’s doing, and getting there. So yeah, I would never charge the battery 100% unless I really needed to, I think I’ve missed read on it twice in the last 12 months. And that’s just me being still struggling three years later with a bit of range anxiety, which I think a lot of people still struggle with when you’re trying to get there. But really, it’s just not necessary, just trust the technology to do its job. And it’s going to get you there. Have you got any questions?
Giles Parkinson 57:43
And just look at an associated one when people are talking about 80% and why should you only charge to 80%. Well part of it is actually to convenience. Because the charging, and see if you might sort of shed some light on this, I understand that the battery management system, that after 80%, which is quite visible, when you get any charges, then it actually slows down quite significantly.
Steve Amor 58:05
Absolutely, Giles. The charging generally, about the first 60% is the fastest time and then it has a drop off as it tries to get more charging to the vehicle. So generally, the BMS will protect the batteries. And that’s why a lot of them most of the manufacturers have a ten year guarantee on their batteries. And so it will limit overcharging and under charging of the battery. So yeah, so it’s it’s very much protected. And yeah, I totally agree with what Pete was saying.
Giles Parkinson 58:40
Just one final question Pete. Lifetime of the battery?
Pete Thorne 58:46
Really, it’s I think it’s too early days to come up with that one. How does anybody answer that question? One of the biggest reasons I brought my car was to because you came with an eight year unlimited kilometer warranty on the battery and the drive train. Okay. But I’m sure with that and don’t forget all these cars are very smart and online. And I know people like Tesla do tell you don’t go charging overcharging your car. And importantly, I think on the Tesla’s I had someone told me once that if you try and charge it 100% too many times or twice in a row or three times, it’s going to come up on the screen and tell you and say you shouldn’t be charging so high all the time. So reduce your charge rate. So you know, 80%, I think is a good answer. But yeah, we’re hoping battery’s gonna last, you know, on the power wall side of our business using home batteries. We’re up to that. I think our oldest one now is over three years old and running still at similar capacity. And I’m sure as Steve alluded to, before, a lot of these batteries do protect themselves and and when the manufacturers say it’s a 13 half kilowatt hour battery, I’m sure there’s a bit of a ceiling in there which they get to control the battery with as well. They’re not gonna let you go too high or too low on the charge capacities and not have the ability there to adjust them
Giles Parkinson 1:00:00
Carola memory just a final comment from you. I mean, how smart is the software going to be in the, as we go forward? I mean, we know we’ve talked about, we’ve alluded to all the control sitting on your couch, controlling the charging of your car, we’re going to be talking about the charges back into the grid and shopping centers and all different things. I mean, is it, it’s just going to get too hard or too complex or is it going to get to be really easy.
Carola Jonas 1:00:22
Well, the goal, of course, is to make it really, really easy. And to a point where we probably don’t need to interact with the software anymore. It does it all by itself. And that is with looking at the event of autonomous cars, like no one wants to tell an autonomous car what to do, it just has to figure itself out. So let’s let’s give it a few more years, and maybe we don’t even need to think about charging anymore because it’s completely automated. And everything is done for us.
Giles Parkinson 1:00:54
Okay, look, I just like to we have to wrap up there. We’ve just gone over the hour. Thank you very much for everyone joining the webinar. Thank you for all the questions and like lots and lots of questions. Absolutely fantastic. I think we’ve done a pretty good job on answering most of them, wella lot of them. So thank you very much to the panelists. Carola Jonas from Everty, and Steven Amor from ABB, and Peter Thorne from Solaray Energy. Thanks to everyone who’s taken part in this webinar. We’ll be putting up a recording of it later on. So you can find it at the on the website on The Driven. Please do keep on reading The Driven and Renew Economy. And we’ll have some more webinars in the New Year. And then please do send us an email or message somehow to to let us know what you thought and what we should be talking about next time. And apologies to Dublin John. I got them confused with Kerry John. And I think that that’s a little bit of a wrap. Thank you very much for joining us today and see you next time.
Carola Jonas 1:01:54
Thank’s everyone. See you.
Pete Thorne 1:01:55
Bye Bye, everybody. Thanks for attending.