22 March 2022

Photos: Vice-Chancellor Prof Brian Schmidt and members of BSGIP: Lachlan Blackahll, Mejbaul Haque, Heather Logie, Bjorn Sturmberg, Mehdi Nikpendar and Peter Shevchenko. Credit: Jamie Kidston.

The Acton campus is now home to the University’s first electric vehicle (EV) chargers.

One Type 2 EV charger and one bi-directional EV charger have been installed in the Geology Close carpark, in front of the Ian Ross building on North Road. The Type 2 charger is available to the ANU community, free of charge when not in use for research purposes.

The EV chargers have been installed by the Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program (BSGIP). The primary use of the chargers is for testing. As a secondary use, in line with the ANU commitments to reduce the University’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025, the School of Engineering is offering the use of the conventional charger to the ANU community, free of charge.

“The chargers are used for a variety of research and development purposes in the Distributed Energy Resources Laboratory (DERlab), a new facility we have designed for testing new energy technologies like batteries, solar panels and inverters,” said Professor Lachlan Blackhall, Head, Battery Storage and Grid Integration Program at ANU.

“One of the EV chargers is bi-directional which means that as well as being used to charge electric vehicles (EVs), it allows for reverse power flows, whereby electricity stored in the EV battery can be used to support the electricity grid. This charger was installed at the University as part of the Realising Electric Vehicle-to-grid Services (REVS) project, Australia’s largest vehicle-to-grid project involving 50 ACT Government EVs.

“We are grateful to the School of Engineering for their generosity in allowing this resource to be made available to the ANU community when not in use for research purposes,” said Professor Blackhall. The chargers are connected to a large solar power array on the roof of the Engineering Building, providing the chargers with clean solar electricity whenever the sun is shining.

Professor Chris Kellett, Director, School of Engineering said: “The School is excited about the work being undertaken in the DERlab and by BSGIP broadly, and we’re pleased to support providing this resource to the ANU community, especially as a contribution to the ANU Below Zero Initiative.”

Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said: “I see this as the first small step, or a precursor to having charging available more broadly on campus. I envision a set of EV parking spots will be rolled out across campus in the years to come so people can plug in and charge their EV while the sun is shining and the energy is cheap, rather than, like me, going home when the sun has set and plugging in.

“Here at ANU we are a community of 20,000 people, we have the opportunity to lead the way, implement our own knowledge and show the world how to do it. We will have to make some sacrifices to get ANU Below Zero by 2030 but our community is right behind it,” said Professor Schmidt.

Three EV parking spaces are located directly in front of the chargers in the Geology Close carpark. Details on use are located next to the conventional charger (the charger available to the public). This charger has two Type 2 sockets available for public charging. Please note users will need to bring their own charging cable and comply with parking signs (three-hour limit for EVs). Type 2 chargers are compatible with most EVs on the Australian market.

The EV charger will be available for use by the ANU community over the next 12 months. After that time, use of the charger will be reviewed.

Please note, researchers may interrupt charging sessions as needed. For more information, contact sarah.wilson@anu.edu.au