JOLT Charge (JOLT), Australia’s fast free-charging EV network, and the Government of South Australia (GOSA) have partnered to launch an electric vehicle (EV) smart charging trial examining the impact of EV charging on the electricity grid.
The $1.1m trial, co-funded by JOLT and the Department of Energy and Mining will look at understanding consumer behaviour in relation to EV charging – such as frequency of use, time of day, duration of charge as well as individual responses to incentives and real-time notifications.
JOLT currently runs a network of 21 fast chargers across metro Adelaide. The smart charging trial, which sees the installation of additional 50kW DC fast chargers, will build on JOLT’s existing footprint in South Australia and will take place across key metro rapid charging locations within the Cities of Charles Sturt, Marion and Port Adelaide Enfield.
JOLT CEO and founder Doug McNamee said the trial was the first step in enriching and strengthening JOLT’s partnership with the Government of South Australia, providing an important framework for ongoing collaboration and understanding EV consumption data.
“JOLT is investing in the future of energy management by understanding how and when EV owners look to charge before getting back on the road,” Mr McNamee said.
“South Australia is a national leader when it comes to renewables, they’re at the forefront when it comes to Electric Vehicle policy and infrastructure and helping gain driver insights is an integral part of our commitment to delivering the best charging experience for all EV owners.”
JOLT recently opened its 21st fast-charging station in Adelaide in December and has partnered with local Adelaide councils to give out over 100,000 free kilometres through the Adelaide charge network to date.
“Adelaide was the first city where we launched our JOLT charging network and we’re excited to be working together with the Government of South Australia on an ongoing EV strategy that will provide valuable data for supporting the integration of electric vehicles into the grid,” McNamee said.
“Trials like this are critical in helping us better understand how to make EVs more accessible through a network of public fast-charging options, as well as how charging incentives can help balance the load during high-supply periods.”
Commenting on the trial, Deputy Premier and Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said South Australia’s world-class renewable resources creates a fantastic opportunity to use electric vehicles as a bank of mobile batteries to strengthen our energy grid.
“These trials mean that if you park your car in a city car park, use a car that’s part of a commercial fleet, or you’re just charging on the go – that you’re helping support the power grid,” said the Deputy Premier.
The trial will see JOLT install upgrade its existing mobile app capabilities to allow in-app notifications, notifying customers of optimal charging times with associated incentives.
Advertising screens across the JOLT network will be used to deliver location-based notifications of incentives and free charging to customers, helping encourage greater EV uptake.