While most of the innovations with electric cars have come from Europe, the USA and particularly Japan, it is now Australia's turn to take the lead by showing the potential of electric vehicles using Victoria's Smart Grid.
The government of Victoria took an electric vehicle trial that ran from June-December 2012 and used its smart meter infrastructure for electricity demand management. Now, it has released the results of the report which suggest that drivers could save as much as $250 every year using grid-friendly smart charging technology: that's about 50 per cent of the usual charging costs.
The ChargeIQ electric vehicle charger helps drivers lower their costs though flexible energy pricing. This home charging solution links the vehicle with the grid and the driver, by allowing motorists to receive information through the web or via their smartphone.
There were a number of key findings in the project, including that consumers have indicated they are open to deferring vehicle charging: including having it managed remotely if they are given financially beneficial options.
Among the recommendations of the project were: network service providers need to work together to streamline market access for smart device providers; clarity is needed for service levels for the home area network and responsibility must be formalised; and guidelines should also be developed about alternatives, including wireless techniques.
The $5million electric vehicle trial is scheduled to complete its run midway through 2014 with a spokesperson from project partner United Energy stating that the utility is open to more innovations and technologies that can make better use of its network.
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