The South Australian Government is investing $3.2 million in Electric Vehicle (EV) Smart Charging Trials with successful projects addressing integration risks, service gaps and ways in which electric vehicles can be coordinated to charge.

The trials will ensure that EV Smart Chargers are compatible with current vehicle models, provide the best charging conditions during periods of high renewable energy generation or low grid demand, simplify billing, offer customer convenience, provide route flexibility, and address road trip anxiety.

The $3.2 million electric vehicle smart charging trials will complement South Australia's EV statewide charging network, being managed by the RAA and Chargefox with over 500 charging stations at 140 sites in 52 locations across the state.

With 170,000 electric vehicles forecast to be on South Australian roads by 2030, smart charging options are an imperative factor in EVs becoming common choice for new car purchase in South Australia.

The EV Smart Charging Trials will focus on the following priority areas:

  • Virtual Power Plant (VPP) integration
  • Adelaide CBD off-street car parks (non-ancillary)
  • Hotel, motel and holiday parks
  • Commercial fleets
  • Public rapid charging with time-of-use pricing

Funding grant recipients

  • The AGL SA Smart Charging Trial will install 19 smart chargers in Wilson Parking Adelaide CBD off street carparks, 4 chargers at commercial fleet employee’s homes, and 5 chargers at commercial fleet business premises to support 6 electric fleet vehicles and 18 subscription vehicles for the City of Marion, Uniting Communities and Centacare.

    Using various supporting systems trial data will be collected to understand the charging behaviour of commercial fleet drivers. The trial will then introduce charger control and dynamic factors including price and event signals designed to alter user charging behaviour.

    This understanding should enable development of new viable commercial propositions that will increase adoption of EVs and smart charging practices in South Australia.

  • Chargefox will use the Chargefox app and charger management platform and build a new metropolitan DC fast charging site to test how drivers respond to changes in charging price.

    Over a twelve month period we will test various aspects of changing the time of use pricing in response to national electricity market events and measure how drivers respond.

  • In one of Australia’s largest Vehicle to Grid (V2G) trials, Engie will integrate 24 managed smart charging bays into Flinders University campus level. virtual battery to demonstrate how EVs could be harnessed to support SA’s electricity system during peak demand periods.

    The trial will deploy 20 bidirectional V2G charging bays, that will enable capable electric vehicles to charge and discharge electricity to the grid, along with 4 rapid charging bays providing up to 75kW of power to a vehicle. The trial will integrate EV charging and discharging into ENGIE’s South Australian Virtual Power Plant (VPP).

  • Demonstrating how fleets located at commercial building car parks can move to a low emissions transport future by adopting a third-party service model approach to EV smart charging.

    EV smart charging will be provided as a service in commercial buildings using a world class modular EV smart charging system that can be expanded as EV fleets grow. The third-party ownership model for EV charging equipment will overcome upfront cost and ownership barriers which can arise when building owners and their tenants are unable to agree who should pay for deploying EV charging equipment.

  • Jolt aims to assess the impact of charging incentives on consumer behaviours to ensure a stable and optimal spread of demand on the grid and to better respond to peaks and troughs in energy usage to deliver increased demand for fast charging during incentivised times with the installation of 50 kW chargers funded by advertising display panels.

  • The EV Smart Holiday Parks Trial will deploy 2 bi-directional V2G charging bays at NRMA’s Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park, that will enable capable electric vehicles to charge and discharge electricity to the grid, along with 28 fast 7kW chargers on cabin and camp sites. A flexible pricing plan will incentivize charging during periods of high renewable energy generation.

    The trial will demonstrate an electric vehicle charging service model for holiday parks, that will enable guests to park, plug and holiday.

  • Through this trial at Foodland Pasadena, Planet Ark Power (a subsidiary of eleXsys Energy) will demonstrate a replicable and scalable model for EV smart charging in shopping centres that incentivises drivers to park, plug and shop, to boost their charge from minimum to maximum power output.

    By incentivising EV drivers to enter the shopping centre and visit tenants’ stores to boost their charge, the trial builds loyalty and return custom, increasing the economic value of providing EV charging services.

    The trial will establish the business case for co-locating EV charging with a 1 MW battery to form a Virtual Power Plant that can monetise infrastructure to accelerate private sector deployment.

  • The UPark EV Fleet Smart Charging Trial will provide commercial fleet EV charging to UPark customers linked to real time electricity demand management based on wholesale electricity prices.

    The partnership between City of Adelaide, UPark and Flow Power will utilise Flow Power's demand management capabilities, based on wholesale electricity prices, to provide a real time reflection of network demand conditions to reduce peak demand and electricity costs in the provision of EV fleet charging.

  • The Rocland Group and JET Charge, at the new Sturt Highway service station in Nuriootpa, will demonstrate how rapid EV charging using time of use pricing tariffs and surge pricing or dynamic power delivery can support and positively influence regional EV charging behaviours.

    The 10 rapid charging bays will provide up to 150kW of power output to a vehicle and customers will benefit from a flexible pricing model that will incentivize use during periods of high renewable energy generation.

    The trial will demonstrate how essential highway EV smart charging can contribute to overall electricity system strength, without adversely impacting upon EV driver perceptions or user experience on regional road trips.

  • Data from the trials will frame and inform the future direction of EVs in South Australia as we aim to make EVs the common choice for motorists by 2030 and the default choice by 2035, in line with achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

    EV Smart Charging Trials - questions and answers

    In total there will be up to 9 grant funding recipients that will share in the $3.2 million invested by the South Australian government in the EV Smart Charging Trials.

    The grantees will commence their EV Smart Charging Trials at varying times throughout the year with the first trials expected to begin in 2022.

    Grantees are currently forming a robust management plan around their proposal and working with other parties to develop their EV Smart Charging systems and software to implement and measure the trials.

    The trials will deliver around 142 fast and rapid smart charging bays across 26 sites in metropolitan and regional locations. Details of proposed sites are included in each project's description and will be updated as they are confirmed by the grantees and their site hosts.

    The EV Smart Charging Trials cover a range of scenarios, including public and commercial fleets and virtual power plants, that will result in many of the EV smart chargers being installed in the private or business premises of trial participants.

    Current proposed locations of the trials include:

    • Adelaide CBD and/or metropolitan commercial car parks
    • Flinders University, Bedford Park (Carparks 2, 3 and 9)
    • Foodland Pasadena Shopping Centre
    • Four metropolitan public charging locations in the Charles Sturt, Port Adelaide Enfield and Marion Local Government Areas
    • Metropolitan Shopping Centre TBC
    • NRMA Victor Harbor Beachfront Holiday Park
    • The Rocland Group - new service station Nuriootpa
    • UPark Topham Mall and UPark Wyatt Street, Adelaide CBD
    • Wilson Parking Adelaide CBD Carparks and business/private locations for the City of Marion, Uniting Communities and Centacare

    The EV Smart Charging Trials will include installation of EV smart chargers at a variety of public, commercial fleet and private sites. Details of proposed trial sites will be included in each project’s description, and a list of smart chargers available for public use will be published once they are installed and operational.

    Contact us

    For more information and to register to receive further updates on EV Action Plan initiatives contact electricvehicles@sa.gov.au