Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Who is eligible to participate in the trial?
The trial is open to electric vehicle owners in Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania who live in the distribution areas covered by AusNet Services, Evoenergy, Jemena, TasNetworks and United Energy. Participants also need off-street parking for the installation of the wall-mounted charger. The trial will recruit 176 participants.
Q2. How is this trial different to others?
This is currently the only trial that is led by electricity distribution companies and focussed on managing domestic EV charging. This means that the capacity of the electricity grid can be monitored real-time by the electricity distribution companies to defer or reduce electric vehicle charging when there is increased demand on the grid.
Q3. What is the trial hoping to achieve?
The trial is aiming to demonstrate how the electricity grid can manage an increased number of electric vehicles being charged by residential customers while reducing the need for costly upgrades to electricity infrastructure. It also aims to understand electric vehicle owners’ willingness to allow their electricity distribution company to dynamically control the charging of their vehicle at certain times.
Q4. What is the benefit for electric vehicle owners participating in the trial?
Participants will receive a wall-mounted ‘smart fast charger’ that is up to three times faster than the regular charger commonly supplied with a new electric vehicle. This will reduce charging time from five hours to 90 minutes for a typical vehicle that travels around 40kms a day. The smart fast charger will be supplied and installed for free, valued at $2,200. Participants will also benefit from being able to schedule charging with off-peak tariffs (where relevant).
Q5. Do participants get to keep the smart fast charger at the end of the trial?
Yes, participants keep the smart fast charger at the end of the trial.
Q6. How long will the trial run for?
The trial will begin in July 2021 and run until June 2022. Your electricity distributor will determine the exact months and dates depending upon the season, weather forecast and network limitations.
Q7. What is the process for electric vehicle owners who are interested in participating in the trial?
Electric vehicle owners can register their interest via the link at the bottom of this page.
Q8. How does the smart fast charger know when to defer the charging?
The electricity distributor will be monitoring the capacity of the electricity grid and will have the ability to remotely control the smart fast charger when there is extra demand on the grid.
Q9. Is the smart fast charger connected to the participant’s smart meter?
No, the smart charger will be connected via a dedicated circuit to the home switchboard.
Q10. How often will the smart fast charger defer the charging?
Charging will only be deferred at times when the electricity grid is under increased pressure, particularly on hot days. It is estimated that charging will be deferred up to 10 times throughout the 12 month trial.
Q11. Can participants opt-out of the deferred charging, for example if they had to use their car again in a few hours?
Participants will be notified in advance of when deferred charging will occur and will have the ability to opt-out. You will be able to do so on your smart phone via a mobile app.
Q12. How many electric vehicle owners currently have a smart fast charger?
Only around 1% of owners currently have a smart fast charger. The majority of electric vehicles are sold with a standard charger.
Q13. What happens if I move house?
If you intend to move house, you will need to let us know in advance. If you want to take the wall charger with you, you will need to cover the cost to get the charger removed and installed at your new property. However, if you want to leave it at the current property, you can. In this case, we will remove it from the trial so it will no longer have remote access by your electricity distributor, but it will continue to operate as an independent smart fast charger.
Q14. What type of charger is it, and how fast can it charge?
The charger that will be installed is JET Charge’s Chargemate. It will operate at both single phase and three phase supply. Chargemate is a smart charger with full industry (OCPP) compliance and compatible with Chargefox and industry standard software worldwide. Chargemate’s Type 2 socket is compatible with all EVs sold in Australia via lead or adapter. It features an interactive user interface with live charging status display. Chargemate is rated all the way up to the maximum domestic single phase charging power of 7.2kW to 22kW. More info here.