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The road ahead for electric vehicles

June 29, 2021

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining popularity worldwide. The concept of EVs in Australia is widespread, however uptake accounts for less than 1% of car sales in Australia[1]. Projections from the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) report, Electricity Statement of Opportunities, published in 2020, estimates that EVs could make up 20–50% of car sales by the early 2030s[2].

In late May, AEMO’s Distributed Energy Integration Program (DEIP) – Electric Vehicles Grid Integration Working Group published the key findings of its Vehicle-Grid Integration Standards Taskforce. The report, titled Vehicle-Grid Integration Standards Taskforce – Key Findings reviews how the development of Australian standards or adoption of international standards will be integral to the integration of electric vehicles into Australia’s electricity grid.

In 2019, the group highlighted that a lack of vehicle grid integration (VGI) standards could run the risk of an inefficient transition to EVs for Australian consumers, resulting in frustration, additional cost, and slow uptake. The formation of the taskforce by the DEIP, which has included Standards Australia as a key partner, has helped to identify areas of development surrounding VGI standards and potential gaps that may currently exist.

As such, the taskforce looked to incorporate as many stakeholder views as possible to help provide options on how Australia’s energy system can best handle the mainstream use of EVs before widescale uptake occurs.

“Bringing to light gaps in both national and international standards regarding electric vehicle use, and their integration into the Australian grid establishes opportunities for Standards Australia along with government and industry to delve deeper in to exploring how standardisation could assist in streamlining EV integration and help decarbonise the economy,” said Kara Chan, Standards Australia’s Engagement Manager responsible for the Energy & Electrotechnology portfolio.

The taskforce focused on three key areas: charging interoperability, noting that many EVs utilise manufacturer-specific chargers; energy and services market integration; and, disturbance performance and grid support – in short, how to prevent Australia’s electricity system from being overloaded due to increased use through the charging of EVs and their current inability to stop drawing power from the grid once their batteries are ‘full’, causing additional demand and waste.

The report now sits with Standards Australia’s Electric Vehicle committee, EM-001, Electric Vehicle Operation, which will develop a list of actions items and future international adoptions.

EV grid integration remains a key area of work for Standards Australia going forward, with the belief that VGA standards will assist with a smooth transition of EVs into the electricity grid.

[1] https://electricvehiclecouncil.com.au/about-ev/key-facts/

[2] https://aemo.com.au/-/media/files/stakeholder_consultation/working_groups/der-program/deip-ev/2021/deip-vgi-standards-report.pdf?la=en


Author
Kara Chan
Stakeholder Engagement Manager

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