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How many electric vehicles could Australia's grid cope with?

Chuq

Active Member
Jan 1, 2015
3,232
3,820
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Another thing to consider is "behind the meter" solar generation. Could come in 3 forms:

1. People who have Zappi chargers at home and their own solar. All this charging is effectively invisible to the grid.

2. There is opportunity for places with all day car parks, typically used 9-5 (including organisations with employee parking; park and ride car parks; CBD commuter parking).

They could include their own on-site solar generation and slow (< 3.5 kW) AC chargers. Cars could be charged 100% with the on-site solar generated electricity. There is no guarantee that cars will be fully charged, or even get charged at all if it's a cloudy/rainy day (for this reason the charging would be free). However, it would potentially offset a fair amount of energy that would otherwise be required to come from the grid at another time.

The benefit is that it reduces the demand on the grid for overnight charging, provides an alternative for people who cannot charge at home, and while the concept does not require a grid connection, it is possible that it could be if necessary and could raise or lower grid demand or export in response to grid requirements if needed.

3. Cars like the Sion (Sono Motors) and the Lightyear One which have integrated solar. It still remains to be seen if this will have much of an impact (both the capability/capacity of the integrated solar, and the market penetration of models which have this feature).

In all examples, these would not cover 100% of charging for these cars but between them would make a bit of a dent in overall grid capacity requirements.
 
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aegidius

Member
Aug 27, 2018
389
279
Brisbane
Note that you don't even have to be particularly clever to do this: Just have every car pick a random start time during the window, and overall you'll spread the charging evenly over the time period.

You don't have to be clever to do it at night, because it's already been done: staggered switch-on of HWS off-peak power via control tones.
 
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paulp

Active Member
Jul 23, 2015
2,676
1,219
Adelaide, Australia
Another thing to consider is "behind the meter" solar generation. Could come in 3 forms:

1. People who have Zappi chargers at home and their own solar. All this charging is effectively invisible to the grid.

2. There is opportunity for places with all day car parks, typically used 9-5 (including organisations with employee parking; park and ride car parks; CBD commuter parking).

They could include their own on-site solar generation and slow (< 3.5 kW) AC chargers. Cars could be charged 100% with the on-site solar generated electricity. There is no guarantee that cars will be fully charged, or even get charged at all if it's a cloudy/rainy day (for this reason the charging would be free). However, it would potentially offset a fair amount of energy that would otherwise be required to come from the grid at another time.

The benefit is that it reduces the demand on the grid for overnight charging, provides an alternative for people who cannot charge at home, and while the concept does not require a grid connection, it is possible that it could be if necessary and could raise or lower grid demand or export in response to grid requirements if needed.

3. Cars like the Sion (Sono Motors) and the Lightyear One which have integrated solar. It still remains to be seen if this will have much of an impact (both the capability/capacity of the integrated solar, and the market penetration of models which have this feature).

In all examples, these would not cover 100% of charging for these cars but between them would make a bit of a dent in overall grid capacity requirements.
I really really dislike leaving my car in the sun.
 

Vostok

Active Member
Jul 1, 2017
1,389
1,485
Sydney
Another thing to consider is "behind the meter" solar generation
That’s a good point @Chuq and one reason why I am confident this will be worked out.

Small-scale solar (which includes rooftops and community and other installations that are not grid-managed by AEMO) is becoming an increasingly significant proportion of national power generation. In August it was 4.7% (see National and State Renewable Energy stats).

At the moment my Model 3 is 100% charged from solar, by setting charging to happen after 10am when my PW2 is usually full or close to it, and is charged at a rate that my solar array can sustain (and leaving headroom for background household consumption). My grid supplier never sees it.
 

paulp

Active Member
Jul 23, 2015
2,676
1,219
Adelaide, Australia
That’s a good point @Chuq and one reason why I am confident this will be worked out.

Small-scale solar (which includes rooftops and community and other installations that are not grid-managed by AEMO) is becoming an increasingly significant proportion of national power generation. In August it was 4.7% (see National and State Renewable Energy stats).

At the moment my Model 3 is 100% charged from solar, by setting charging to happen after 10am when my PW2 is usually full or close to it, and is charged at a rate that my solar array can sustain (and leaving headroom for background household consumption). My grid supplier never sees it.
Same here. My supplier never sees my solar power going directly to my tesla’s. This number would be very hard to model as its not easy to determine how many are able to have their car at solar and have an excess.
 

ShockOnT

⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️⚡️
Jun 26, 2016
3,337
3,033
Sydney
I'm not so sure of that. It's feasible that Servo's would transition to providing DC fastchargers instead of pumping fuel. This way they can keep their most profitable product turning over (the food/drinks/snacks they peddle you whilst you are 'filling up'). In fact, due to it taking longer to 'fill up' with an EV, one would be stuck at the servo for longer, meaning it's likely they will actually sell more of their most profitable product to EV owners?

Also, even if every car out there somehow became EV's, mechanics will still have their place in society, although not as prevalent as they are now. Vehicles, regardless of EV or Combustion Engine, will still need bushes/bearings/suspension/steering/lights/brakes/tyres/wheel alignments/power steering/etc fixed and replaced. Even electric motors can fail and require replacement. The people who would perform this work would be mechanics of sorts.
I recently did a road trip pulling a caravan with an ICE, and stopped for fuel and food at Taree services. There happens to be Evee CCS2 350kW charging stations there, which I looked at wistfully.
By the time I had pumped fuel, gone in and paid for fuel (weird feeling), moved the car into a parking spot, gone into the shops, ordered and waiting for food, then ate my two-handed burger in the air conditioned car before setting off it had been about 45 minutes.
I would have been so much nicer to have just pulled up at the charger, plugged in and gone to get my food.
Servos are going to have no trouble transition to EVs.
PS: The cybertruck is actually starting to look good at this point.
 
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