Smart Charging Trials

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Harnessing South Australia’s abundant renewable electricity supply and accelerating electric vehicle uptake.

The South Australian government is investing $3.6 million in Electric Vehicle Smart Charging Trials as part of its Electric Vehicle Action Plan.

The Trials will support market-led proposals that demonstrate, integrate and bring forward smart charging solutions that will benefit of all South Australians by contributing to the reliability, security and affordability of our clean energy system.

Proposals are sought in the following priority areas:

  • Virtual Power Plant integration
  • Apartment living, including shared electric vehicles
  • Adelaide CBD off-street car parks
  • Hotel, motel and holiday parks electric vehicle charging
  • Commercial
  • Public charging time-of-use pricing.

Successful proposals will address integration risks and service gaps to enable households and businesses to harness South Australia’s abundant renewable electricity supply, while also accelerating electric vehicle uptake.

The trials will ensure that EV smart chargers are compatible with current vehicle models, provide optimal charging conditions during periods of high renewable energy generation or low grid demand, simplify billing, offer customer convenience, provide route flexibility and address road trip anxiety.

The first four grant funding recipients for the trials include:

AGL Energy Services Pty Limited – AGL SA Smart Charging Trial

The AGL SA Smart Charging Trial will install 19 smart chargers in Wilson Parking Adelaide CBD off street carparks, 4 chargers at commercial fleet employee’s homes, and 5 chargers at commercial fleet business premises to support 6 electric fleet vehicles and 18 subscription vehicles for the City of Marion, Uniting Communities and Centacare.

Using various supporting systems trial data will be collected to understand the charging behaviour of commercial fleet drivers. The trial will then introduce charger control and dynamic factors including price and event signals designed to alter user charging behaviour.

This understanding should enable development of new viable commercial propositions that will increase adoption of EVs and smart charging practices in South Australia.

Chargefox Pty Ltd – Rapid DC Time of Use Pricing Smart Charging Trial

Chargefox will use the Chargefox app and charger management platform and build a new metropolitan DC fast charging site to test how drivers respond to changes in charging price.

Over a twelve month period we will test various aspects of changing the time of use pricing in response to national electricity market events and measure how drivers respond.

JOLT Charge Pty Limited – 50kW Rapid Charger and Dynamic Signal Pricing Trial

Jolt aims to assess the impact of charging incentives on consumer behaviours to ensure a stable and optimal spread of demand on the grid and to better respond to peaks and troughs in energy usage to deliver increased demand for fast charging during incentivised times with the installation of 50kW chargers funded by advertising display panels.

The Corporation of the City of Adelaide - UPark EV Fleet Smart Charging

The UPark EV Fleet Smart Charging Trial will provide commercial fleet EV charging to UPark customers linked to real time electricity demand management based on wholesale electricity prices.

The partnership between City of Adelaide, UPark and Flow Power will utilise Flow Power’s demand management capabilities, based on wholesale electricity prices, to provide a real time reflection of network demand conditions to reduce peak demand and electricity costs in the provision of EV fleet charging.

Further successful EV Smart Charging Trial projects will be announced in early 2022, with all trials commencing by March 2022.

Data from the trials will frame and inform the future direction of EVs in South Australia, as we aim to make EVs the common choice for motorists by 2030 and the default choice by 2035, in line with achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

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EV Smart Charging Trials – frequently asked questions

How many grant funding recipients are there?

In total there will be up to 10 grant funding recipients that will share in the $3.6 million invested by the South Australian government in the EV Smart Charging Trials. The first five were announced in December 2021 and this website will be updated when the remaining grants are announced in early 2022.

What is the purpose of the trials?

Each grantee is required to collect a minimum of 12 months data to demonstrate the outcome of the trial against the relevant funding stream objectives, then research and interpret the data to provide a comprehensive and detailed report on their findings.

The data collected will include understanding vehicle models being used, the best source and timing for optimal charging conditions, simplifying billing and communications, how the EV Smart Chargers are being used and when, customer charging behaviours and the impact of varying trial elements on this, and alleviating driving range anxiety. All of this data will create a fully researched framework to support the way in which we use and interact with EVs.

When will the first charging trials commence?

The grantees will commence their EV Smart Charging Trials at varying times throughout the year with the first trials expected to begin in 2022. Grantees are currently forming a robust management plan around their proposal and working with other parties to develop their EV Smart Charging systems and software to implement and measure the trials.

Where are the EV Smart Charging Trials sites located?

The trial locations will be announced once they are confirmed by the grantees and their Site Hosts.

How many EV Smart Charging stations will there be in total?

The number of charging stations and chargers will be announced once all of the successful grant recipients have been announced in early 2022.

Will the EV Smart Charging Trials have charging stations available for public use?

The EV Smart Charging Trials cover a range of scenarios, including public and commercial fleets and virtual power plants, that will result many of the EV smart chargers being installed in the private or business premises of trial participants.

Who do I contact if I have issues with one of the charging stations?

Any public EV charging stations that are part of the trials will have signage or an app with contact information if support is required.

How can I find out more information and be kept up to date?

Register here to receive information regarding this and other EV Action Plan initiatives.