AGL and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have installed 200 electric vehicle (EV) smart chargers in homes as part of an $8 million investment to test the capabilities of charging technologies.
The Electric Vehicle orchestration trial will take place in homes across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia, and it will help AGL and ARENA accelerate the commercialisation of different charging technologies and better understand how customers are using them at home.
AGL Chief Customer Officer, Christine Corbett, said the project will provide valuable insights into EV charging and how customers can support grid stability through effectively managing their charging times.
“We are excited to have finished installing 200 smart chargers so more Australians can test the benefits of smart charging their EV at home,” Ms Corbett said.
“Accelerating the uptake of EVs will be an integral technology pathway for decarbonising Australia’s economy but without careful management we risk overloading the grid at peak times.
“In the lead up to the trial, our customer research revealed customers were happy to have their charging controlled as long as they are able to override that control when they require their vehicle.”
During the course of the next few months, AGL will test a number of charging scenarios using internet based remote control of the smart charger and direct control of the EV.
Ms Corbett said, “Over the next year, we will monitor the results and receive feedback from our customers. We really want to know what works and what doesn’t work for the customer.
“Projects like this will play a critical role in reducing costs and creating seamless charging operations for our customers.
“We have been a vocal advocate for the growth of EVs in Australia with a key focus on supporting access to EV charging for businesses and households and this project will allow greater uptake and implementation into the future.”
ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said the project will provide valuable insights and contribute towards ARENA’s smart charging portfolio to help advance the rollout of EV infrastructure.
“Smart chargers will play a significant role as EV uptake increases across Australia,” Mr Miller said.
“The installation of 200 smart chargers across Australian homes is an important milestone for AGL’s project, which will be used to identify how we can best integrate EVs into the grid that benefits both the customer and the electricity system as a whole.”
Over the past year, AGL has successfully established its Electric Vehicle subscription service, offering customers in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia the ability to get behind the wheel of an Electric Vehicle without committing to ownership.
Following AGL’s proposed demerger in 2022, the Electric Vehicle portfolio will fall within AGL Australia.