Fast-charging technology could potentially lower energy costs

As the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) increases in Australia and across the world, electricity networks are looking to address possible concerns with electric grid capacity.
In this effort, five electricity network businesses – Jemena, AusNet, United Energy, EVOEnergy, and TasNetworks – have launched a 12-month trial of ‘smart chargers.’ These chargers were installed in the homes of more than 160 EV owners in Tasmania, Victoria, and the ACT.
The smart chargers on trial charge EVs up to three times faster than standard chargers.
They also enable the electricity network operators to dynamically adjust when the vehicle charges. This might be in off-peak times like after midnight or during the day when excess solar energy is available.
This should result in lower electricity bills for all consumers while protecting the grid from overload. Through the trial, the consumers will have a chance to try out the smart chargers while the network operators gain a better understanding of how to manage increased demand on the grid.
Part of the trial involves EV car owners plugging in their car during ‘solar soak’ events (sunny days) to help the network operators see how much surplus electricity this requires on this scale.
The trial is led by Jemena in partnership with the other four electricity network businesses. It has been co-funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) under its Advancing Renewables Program.
“It’s clear that energy network businesses need to be ready for an influx of EVs. Through this trial, we are looking at how we can best work with customers to coordinate charging their vehicles at times when there is more capacity in the grid,” Jemena Networks Executive General Manager, Shaun Reardon, said.
“As we see the uptake of electric vehicles increase, it’s vital that we better understand the impacts of EV charging from a network perspective and manage the optimum time for consumers to charge their vehicles,” ARENA Chief Executive Officer, Dan Miller, said.
“We’re excited to be seeing Jemena’s project officially begin, and with over 160 customers participating across the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania, we’re looking to gain valuable insights into how network managed EV charging can be positive for both the network providers and the vehicle owner.”

For more information about the trial, visit or