The Morrison Government is continuing to support new technology that will help the uptake of electric vehicles (EV) by Australian motorists.

A new trial led by ActewAGL to support the integration of EV’s in the Australian Capital Territory will receive $2.4 million in grant funding from the Morrison Government through Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

The EVs will be part of the ACT Government fleet and will provide Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The trial will test new vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows EVs to operate like mobile batteries, using and storing electricity but then injecting power to the grid when needed.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the trial will explore the role that EVs can play in helping to stabilise the electricity network.

“The Government’s role is to support consumer choice for future fuel technologies and back new technologies through trials like this. These projects will help those Australian motorists who choose to drive an electric vehicle to do so”, Minister Taylor said. “This trial will be important to prove the benefits of vehicle-to-grid technology, to see if EVs can provide an energy security role and extra energy to the grid at times of peak demand,” Minister Taylor said.

Senator for Australian Capital Territory Zed Seselja said as a small jurisdiction the ACT is perfect for innovative trials, and I welcome this announcement today from the Morrison Government for more investment in our city.

“This announcement builds on $1 billion in new investments announced in the ACT by the Federal Government in the last two years”, Seselja said.

The $6.6m trial will see ActewAGL work alongside a consortium of academic, government, transport and electricity system partners to deploy the vehicle-to-grid technology including the ACT Government, Australian National University (ANU), JET Charge, Evoenergy, SG Fleet and Nissan.

The trial will involve 50 Nissan LEAF cars in the ACT Government car fleet and one in the ActewAGL fleet. The cars will use bi-directional chargers, allowing them to return energy to the grid when network demand is high.

Under the trial, the EVs will be used for normal transport operations around the ACT during business hours. However, they will be plugged into the network when not being used and therefore available up to 70 per cent of the time to provide grid services such as FCAS.

The ARENA grant will help support the instalment of 51 bi-directional charging stations across the ACT and upgrades of ACT Government buildings to host charging infrastructure.

The grant will also support three full-time positions at ANU to assist in research and knowledge sharing to better inform this new technology.

The Morrison Government has made investments to reduce barriers to the uptake of EVs in Australia.

In June, the Government’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation made a $3.5 million equity investment in JET Charge to support the development of smart-charging technology, and the Government has previously invested more than $21 million through ARENA to roll out ultra-fast charging sites along Australia’s national highways.

The future role of electric and other low emissions vehicles is also a key focus of the Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap.