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Fully Electrified Land Transport is Straightforward

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Andrew Blakers's picture
Professor of Engineering Australian National university

Andrew Blakers is Professor of Engineering at the Australian National University. He founded the solar PV research group at ANU. In the 1980s and 1990s he was responsible for the design and...

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This item is part of the Electrification of Transportation - August 2022 SPECIAL ISSUE, click here for more

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Greenhouse gas reductions of about 15-20% are possible with a fully decarbonized grid powering fully electric land transport.

Australia is a useful case study for high renewable energy use because 99% of new generation capacity additions in Australia are solar PV and wind. The annual deployment rate of new renewable capacity is 3 times larger per capita than in the USA. Remarkably, Australia is generating twice as much solar electricity per capita as any other country (Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Chile) and three times more than in the USA. The new Australian Government target is to reach 82% renewable electricity by 2030. This target will probably be exceeded.

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Hour-by hour grid modelling over 5 years of electric vehicles (EVs) in Australia shows that 100% conversion of the land transport fleet (including heavy vehicles) to renewable electricity (mostly solar & wind) requires 40% more electricity generation than at present and adds negligibly to wholesale electricity costs.

Vehicle to grid (V2G) is not required to deliver a low-cost and very stable grid. The main requirement is that the evening peak period (5-10 pm) be largely avoided for EV charging. EV’s can be freely charged at other times, preferably from daytime solar electricity or during windy periods. This is easily arranged using a smart EV charge controller.

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