Encouraging Australians to embrace electric vehicles

Tuesday, 20 February, 2018 from Sustainability Matters.

Electric vehicle (EV) advocate Evenergi has received $172,215 from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency(ARENA) for its public participation program to increase the number of EVs on Australia’s roads and boost the number of solar and storage units installed in homes.

Evenergi’s Charge Together program will involve a social media and marketing campaign to identify prospective EV buyers and undertake consumer research to help understand the barriers for uptake. Participants will receive a home and car monitoring system which will emulate the cost and logistics of owning, charging and maintaining an electric car.

With the data collected, Evenergi will build an online tool for consumers to model the influence of rooftop solar, home batteries and electricity tariffs on a decision to buy EVs.

Evenergi’s research will subsequently inform a report for government and industry that will identify barriers and potential infrastructure hotspots, as well as lay the groundwork for EV charging stations as uptake increases.

The program will also show how electric cars can work together with rooftop solar and battery storage to reduce the load on the grid, and will provide energy networks with insights into the impact of electric cars on the grid. Program participants will be eligible to win prizes and will be offered rewards from Renault, Mitsubishi, AGL, Hyundai, Nissan and other industry leaders.

The $349,573 program will be rolled out initially in South Australia, following a successful trial in the UK, and involves partnerships with South Australian Power Networks, Adelaide Council, the SA Government and the Australian Electric Vehicle Association. If successful, it could be expanded into other states.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the project will help indicate why Australians have not embraced electric cars, what the barriers to uptake were and to encourage further investment. The project would also help to deliver on ARENA’s investment priority of improving Australia’s energy productivity.

“Understanding the potential impacts of EVs on both home energy use and the electricity network will provide valuable knowledge on how EVs can maximise the use of local generation while integrating into a more flexible renewable distribution grid of the future,” Frischknecht said.

Evenergi founder and CEO Daniel Hilson said Evenergi is committed to accelerating electric vehicle adoption in Australia, with the company’s experience in the UK demonstrating that “regional programs are a key part of putting in place the incentives and infrastructure required to support this”.

“With the support of ARENA and the project partners, this program will encourage more Australians to consider electric cars and will help government and industry overcome the barriers to uptake,” Hilson said.

For more information, visit www.chargetogether.com/southaustralia/”.


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