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Origin Energy Begins $2.9m Trial of 150 EV Smart Chargers


Australian energy supplier Origin Energy is trialling a new scheme to get a better understanding of the trends and habits of EV owners across the country. 

The scheme sees 150 smart chargers given to Origin EV owners and will monitor the effects of charging remotely and the impact it has on both the electricity grid as well as the customers’ home. 

Origin’s smart charging trial not only measures the impact of the chargers themselves but how it affects the owner and impacts their general motoring needs. 

The $2.9m trial is backed by government network ARENA who offered an $838,000 grant to help get the project off the ground. 

Senior figures at Origin hope that the project will give them a better understanding of EV trends and the effects it will have on society in years to come.

Origin’s General Manager of Future Energy and Technology, Tony Lucas, stated;

“We hope this trial will help us understand how we can maximise the benefits to customers by offering products that reduce their EV charging costs as well as how we can manage EV charging in a way that helps with grid and network stability,”

Measuring figures through their Virtual Power Plant program, Origin will look at a host of different factors including local rate prices, charge times and the stress on the local grid. 

By compiling all of the data from the Origin smart charging trial, industry insiders hope to gain crucial insights into how EV owners operate and tailor new schemes to support their cause. 

This was echoed by ARENA CEO Darren Miller who believes that “it will be important to efficiently manage the charging of vehicles, to avoid potentially costly impacts on peak demand, associated network charges and grid security issues.”

Alongside working with ARENA, Origin has also received support from major manufacturers such as Hyundai & Nissan with the chargers being provided by Dutch firm GreenFlux.

The push comes as Australia’s electricity suppliers undertake a greater push to get a better understanding of EV technology on society. 

Recently, AGL’s Canberra-based supplier ActewAGL launched a similar scheme across the city tracking the demands on charging EV’s across the city. In their $6.6m scheme, ActewAGL will connect over 50 Nissan Leaf vehicles to the city grid and measure how charging the vehicles has an impact on the network at different times of the day.

For now, the Origin smart charging trial will only be available to customers in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland over the next year or so. 

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