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Victorian government awards Nissan research grant
Nissan Australia partners with CSIRO, Delta Energy Systems for EV charging study
7 Sep 2018
NISSAN Australia has been awarded a grant from the Victoria government for a research project on electric vehicle (EV) charging it will conduct alongside Delta Energy Systems Australia and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The $210,000 grant has been taken from the Victorian government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund (NEJF) and will go towards the 18-month joint-venture research project that aims to study off-grid EV charging using a system that harnesses solar power and battery backup.
The study will also look at the optimisation of EV charging profiles to reduce grid impact and maximise the use of renewable energy, in turn helping to improve the system.
Delta Energy Systems Australia has designed the system that will undergo testing at the CSIRO’s Monash University facility in Clayton, Victoria. The laboratory has a temperature control chamber that is needed to create the various environmental conditions for the tests.
Once the initial testing is completed, researchers will deploy the system at one of Nissan Australia’s Melbourne-based facilities, where extensive field trials will be undertaken using a fleet of second-generation Leaf EVs.
As such, the research project satisfies the NEJF’s directive to create long-term sustainable jobs, increase the uptake of renewable energy generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive innovation in new energy technologies.
The study also aligns with Nissan’s goal to be an EV pioneer as part of its ‘intelligent mobility’ mantra, according to Nissan Australia managing director Stephen Lester.
“Developing alternative sources of energy is our priority as we pursue innovation in the electric-vehicle space,” he said.
“While it’s undeniable that the future is electric, we believe that it is important that the future of electric is also sustainable. That’s part of what defines intelligent mobility for us.”
Victorian minister for energy, environment and climate change Lily D’Ambrosio echoed this sentiment, adding that the research project’s system has the potential to solve one of the problems preventing mass EV adoption.
“The project will address a key need in the electric-vehicle market by increasing the accessibility to charging stations for domestic, commercial and mobile customers,” she said.
"Such a benefit certainly will contribute to a more stable electrical grid, shorter payback time and more control for the user on charge rates.”
As reported, Nissan Australia is preparing to launch the aforementioned Leaf small hatchback later this year. This represents its second foray into selling an EV in a market that continues to lack the charging infrastructure needed for non-urban drivers.
Nonetheless, Nissan Australia had more than 3000 expressions of interest for the Leaf in July, showing that local EV demand is alive and well, even if retail sales continue to be miniscule.
The second-generation Leaf small hatchback features an 110kW/320Nm electric motor and a 40kWh lithium-ion battery pack that provides 400km of driving range – a 170km improvement over its predecessor.
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