Executive Summary

The introduction of Plug-in PEVs (PEVs) will deliver substantial benefits to Australia. Along with environmental benefits, they will deliver long term reductions in living expenses, ensure fuel security, and positively impact the gross domestic product.

Electricity network distribution businesses are focused on optimisation of asset utilisation. They are in a unique position with respect to PEVs. If the adoption is appropriately managed, they could improve the utilisation of assets while improving grid stability. This will require appropriate management of load and therefore consciously crafted network architecture – with the ability for demand side control. If managed poorly, uncoordinated charging events could add to peak demand at some levels of the network and add to cost.

Forecasting the impact of PEVs on distribution networks is a difficult task given the uncertainty on both the adoption rates of vehicles, and the potential evolution of the transport market itself in terms of the mix of mobility types and charging infrastructure solutions.

At the same time there is ongoing disruption of the energy market due to a movement towards renewable energy sources, both in terms of both grid scale and distributed generation.

This report is part of the Strategic Regional EV Adoption Program jointly funded by Evenergi, ARENA, South Australian Government and SA Power Networks (SAPN). It seeks to understand the impact of PEVs on the South Australian power network in terms of both demand and its interaction with the increasing levels of renewable generation.

The goal is to answer the question: how can governments and electricity distribution network businesses ensure that the grid is ready to accept increasing numbers of PEVs and to do so in a manner that leverages to increased deployment of renewable energy.

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