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Electric vehicles – Is the energy sector ready?

Electric vehicles – Is the energy sector ready?

With electric vehicles (EVs) moving rapidly towards common use, seamless integration will require the right energy resources to be available in the right places to match demand. Here we explore what action need to be taken to ensure there are no barriers to customers’ uptake of EVs so that the cost impact is managed and the benefits from EVs to the energy market are fully captured.


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Electric car charging at night

EVs could replace traditional vehicles, despite the portion of EVs being less than 0.1 percent of new car sales in Australia, according to a new field of evidence. Bloomsburg New Energy Finance predicts that the purchase price of EVs will be cost competitive with traditional vehicles by 2024. A number of international car manufacturers have announced they will cease production of internal combustion cars. And the Clean Energy Finance Corporation suggests that in Australia EVs will account for 100 percent of all new vehicles sold by 2040, and 95 percent of all vehicles by 2050.

Widespread adoption of electric vehicles will have a significant impact on the economy and on society as a whole, and will create new challenges and opportunities for the future, not least for the energy markets. This paper sets out our initial thinking on the challenges and opportunities of EVs for the National Energy Market. It draws on KPMG analysis for Infrastructure Victoria on the energy market impacts of 100 percent penetration of EVs fast forward by 30 years under different scenarios relating to vehicle ownership and technology adoption.

The energy markets in Australia are in a state of transition, and a multitude of factors will impact energy markets going forward, including the pace of technological change, changing customer behaviour, the ageing of existing infrastructure and government policy on emissions. A clear regulatory and policy framework needs to be put in place to ensure that EVs are efficiently integrated into the evolving energy markets. Without this, it could cause significant additional disruption through the potential impacts on the electricity system from charging and potentially discharging. Effective integration means that there are no barriers to customers’ uptake of EVs, the cost impact is managed and the benefits from EVs to the energy market are fully captured.

In this report we explore:

  • the load and peak demand impact of EVs
  • the potential benefits of EVs for the energy markets
  • impacts under shared fleet ownerships
  • regulatory challenges.

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