The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), the peak body for the automotive industry in Australia, has applauded the announcement by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) of funding for an electric vehicle (EV) smart charging trial.
The funding of $838,000 has been allocated to Origin Energy Ltd, who will provide and install 150 smart chargers across residential, commercial, and industrial premises.
The initiative is part of a $2.9 million trial run by ARENA which seeks to evaluate the benefits and barriers to controlled smart charging, including improving understanding of EV driver behaviour.
The trial runs across the National Electricity Market which covers Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Tony Weber, chief executive of the FCAI, said the trial was a welcome initiative.
“Low emission vehicles, including plug in hybrid (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV), are the way of the future and there is barely an automotive manufacturer today who does not have one of these amazing vehicles either in production or in development.
“However, the uptake of EVs in Australia has been slow for many reasons, including lack of policy, lack of both financial and non-financial incentivisation, and a lack of infrastructure development to support the technology.
“The announcement of an EV smart charging trial by ARENA will provide significant support to the growth of EV take-up in Australia and address some of the barriers to entry of this important technology,” Mr Weber said.