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Global Tech Trends Impacting Australian EVs

Australia has found itself in a unique position when it comes to EV policy, infrastructure and adoption.

As other countries are leading the way, we have the opportunity to learn from their successes and failures. Policy may be one of the most important factors in ensuring a successful transition to EVs, but innovation and technology are just as important.

Taking a step back and looking for clues in other markets, there are four global tech trends that will play a role in the future of EVs in Australia.

smart charging

Smart charging is an intelligent form of EV charging that optimizes energy consumption. By enabling communication between vehicles and the grid, you can automate charging and take advantage of lower electricity rates. It can also be used to limit charging to minimize stress on the grid.

In Europe, smart charging technology is growing rapidly due to high energy prices. Ohme is a British company that takes smart charging one step further, offering options to charge when renewable energy generation on the grid is at its maximum, helping to reduce the impact of CO2.

In Australia, companies such as AGL and Origin are making rapid progress. In March, AGL installed 200 of his EV smart chargers in homes as part of a trial. More recently, Origin agreed to power his ARENA-funded project with his 100% renewable power, trialing street chargers for homes without parking lots.

Domestic demand for this technology is expected to grow as more EVs are connected to the grid. Over time, it will become the standard charging technology in homes and businesses.

artificial intelligence

Beyond self-driving cars, EV companies and manufacturers are exploring how to use AI effectively, and early research points to potential applications here.

Research from US company Volta uses machine learning to identify the best locations to place charging stations. The technology analyzes data such as EV adoption rates by region, demand and expected utilization. It also analyzes demographics to predict infrastructure needs.

Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory are using machine learning to reduce charging time for electric vehicles. Scientists have found a way to create a new charging protocol that allows him to charge a lithium-ion battery up to 90% within 10 minutes. These intelligent technologies will become increasingly important as the Australian government rolls out its first national electric vehicle strategy.

home and business integration

As more EVs come online in Australia, power demand will increase for both homes and businesses, especially those that provide public charging stations. This requires integrating renewable energy to minimize energy costs and CO2 emissions and increase energy supply.

Integrating a solar panel into a charging point power supply is one option. Another approach is to integrate battery storage.

Both could be deployed in Australia. In the US, EVgo is an early adopter of batteries and smart energy management to provide a stable EV charging service. Power is supplied to the battery from off-peak grid or on-site renewables and released to charge the EV during peak hours.

Australian companies are making moves in this area. for example. Chargefox’s ultra-fast site is powered by 100% green power, which also meets the growing demand from EV owners to reduce their emissions footprint. Often they also add solar cells and batteries to the site to enable charging with solar energy.

Consolidation has clear business implications for Australian homes and businesses, and is expected to increase consumer expectations for using clean energy to charge their vehicles.

Battery and vehicle design

Lithium-ion batteries are not super efficient and research is ongoing to find better ways to power EVs. Cell-to-Pack batteries are an innovation we can expect to hear more about.

Cell-to-pack refers to the direct integration of the cells into the battery pack. Instead of placing flat packs of battery modules at the base of the car chassis, they can be integrated into the car chassis.

This design reduces vehicle weight and allows more cabin space. The advantage is faster, less frequent charging and longer range.

Chinese battery company CATL claims the latest version of the technology can deliver 13% more power than Tesla’s latest cell. Leapmotor has developed Cell-to-Chassis (CTC) battery technology. CTC technology uses the car’s underbody as a battery box and integrates the cells into the car’s frame.

Solid-state batteries are another market-ready innovation. With the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of EV batteries by up to 39%, production is set to start in 2025 and OEM testing is imminent.

eyes of the future

Australia is about to start its EV journey. Policy and EV supply are her two barriers that need to be addressed first, but keeping an eye on innovation around the world can help her work toward a sensible transition.

Paul Sinclair is a Telematics Solutions Advisor at Intelematics, RACV’s mobility technology company.