As Australia's share of electric vehicles (EVs) increases, it's important to ensure we have the right amount of charging infrastructure in place. A collaboration between CSIRO, Nissan Australia and Delta Electronics ensures renewable energy is used, while ensuring judicious charging throughout warm weather.

The challenge

Uptake of electric vehicles

Currently, the transport sector is Australia's third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, which have been increasing faster than in any other sector. Electric vehicles can make a huge impact here – they're a cleaner option, even from just using grid power.

But electric vehicles require widespread charging infrastructure, which may place strain on the electricity grid, especially through stretches of warm weather.

Our response

Plugging into solar

To address this challenge, the Victorian Government provided funding to CSIRO, Nissan Australia and Delta Electronics to create a system linking solar photovoltaics, a battery and smart charging technology. Combined, this makes a solar-powered electric vehicle charging system which draws upon renewable energy to charge a vehicle at any time of day, and in any weather, with little impact to the electricity grid.

CSIRO electric vehicle is charged using solar energy.

CSIRO researchers developed and tested the system and implemented the thermal management controls.

The results

200 days in the sun

Three solar charging modules have been installed at Nissan Headquarters in Dandenong. Each module is capable of charging four vehicles at a time. They'll be evaluated over 200 days, including the peak Summer period. At this point, the project partners will devise next steps for this exciting technology.

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