EV charging behaviour under the spotlight could lead to reduced costs

With electric vehicle usage continuing an upwards trend in Australia, the presence of these vehicles on our roads and in our driveways will soon be commonplace. 

In order to understand a bit more about how people are using this technology, Schneider Electric is working with Origin Energy on a trial to collect data on EV charging behaviours, and how smart charging can reduce owner’s costs and also reduce stress on the electricity grid. 

“Smart charging enables charging at times when demand is lowest and electricity is cheapest. This reduces the burden on the network and the cost to the customer,” Darren Miller, ARENA CEO says. 

Wholesale energy prices are typically lower when wind and solar are generating strongly. 

In order to optimise use of this available energy, 150 trial participants across Australia will be provided with a Schneider Electric EVlink Smart Wallbox charger which is compatible with all passenger electric vehicles in Australia.

These easy to use, tough, intelligent charging stations will provide charging session and energy usage data back to Origin’s Virtual Power Plant platform where energy generation data is available, using the Open Charge Point Protocol 1.6. 

The data collected from the EV charging sessions will help to demonstrate the role smart charging can play in reducing the cost of EV charging and the overall impact on the grid. The EVlink charger will be installed alongside Schneider Electric Acti9 miniature circuit breakers for protection against residual direct currents.

The trial which commenced late last year will run through until 2022, testing different charge management options. At the trial’s completion in 2022, participants will have the option to keep their EVlink charger. 

The trial has been made possible thanks to a grant of $838,000 from Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

For more information about Schneider Electric EVlink chargers visit the Schneider Electric website.

For more information about the Origin Energy Smart Charging trial visit the Origin Energy trial page.