Smart charging of electric vehicles

Electric vehicles will play an important role in reducing the emissions and oil dependence of passenger cars. There is enough overnight energy capacity in the electricity grid to power all passenger car transport; about 11% more electricity would be required. But if everyone gets home, plugs in their electric car, turns on their air conditioners and starts cooking, the combined load could overload houses, street transformers, or substations. Furthermore, uncontrolled charging of electric vehicles will increase peak demand, which is the main contributor to rising electricity prices.

Today's electricity system is designed to vary the supply to match demand. As demand increases, and as a higher proportion of electricity is generated from variable sources such as wind and solar power, it will become increasingly important to control the demand for electricity to control peak demand and to match demand to the supply of clean energy.

Many appliances, including electric vehicles, can have their operating times controlled to match the available supply. This project investigated load management systems, and developed a prototype system that will allow autonomous appliances to respond to a broadcast signal to manage overall demand.

This work was supported by the AutoCRC and by the South Australian Department of Trade and Economic Development.

Researchers: Amie Albrecht, Peter Pudney 

Research grants

2010-2011, Smart charging of electric vehicles, Auto CRC
2008, Planning for electric vehicles in Australia, Auto CRC

Key publications

MAP Taylor, PJ Pudney, R Zito, NM Holyoak, AR Albrecht & R Raicu, 'Planning for electric vehicles in Australia---can we match environmental requirements, technology and travel demand?', Selected Proceedings of the 12th World Conference on Transport Research Society, 2010, S1-01632. 

AR Albrecht, NM Holyoak, R Raicu, PJ Pudney & R Zito, 'Electric vehicles: the solution to emissions from transport?', AutoCRC Conference, Melbourne, 2009.

Areas of study and research

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