The Australian Energy Market Commission  (AEMC) has published an Issues Paper regarding Energy Market Arrangements for Electric and Natural Gas Vehicles.


The paper was prepared in response to a request for advice from the Ministerial Council on Energy (MCE), highlighting the conditions that will enable Australia’s energy markets to support the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in the most economically efficient manner.


The Council engaged AECOM to analyse potential uptake of EVs and NGVs; to identify the costs and benefits of this uptake to the energy markets; to Identify the appropriate electricity market or natural gas market regulatory arrangements necessary to facilitate the economically efficient uptake of EVs and NGVs;  and to Identify the changes required to achieve the appropriate electricity market or natural gas market regulatory arrangements and propose recommendations.


“AECOM's analysis found that EVs could have a significant presence in the Australian market within 10 to 15 years. Initially, due to high upfront costs and supply constraints, take up is expected to be slow and could account for 1 to 2 per cent of sales until 2015. However, once EV prices fall, global supply constraints ease and infrastructure availability increases, take up is likely to increase.”


Under the most likely uptake scenario (central of three), AECOM found that EV and NGV vehicle sales were likely to be around 20% of total vehicle sales in 2020, rising to around 45% of sales by 2030. The greatest number of EV sales would be in NSW, Victoria and Queensland, because most vehicles are sold in these states.


Under this scenario, estimated energy consumption by EV’s as a proportion of total energy in the NEM is 0.2% by 2020, and 2.2% by 2030.


The analysis found that if EV uptake is significant and there is un-managed charging of vehicles, then there would be significant likely impacts on peak demand by 2020 which would impose additional costs on users of the electricity system. This was estimated at additional infrastructure investment of $3.9 billion by 2020, and $10.2 billion by 2030.


The issues paper is available here.   Submissions on the Issues Paper are due by 23 February 2012.


AEMC staff will be holding an industry workshop on metering arrangements for Electric Vehicles in early March. Details on the date and venue plus registration procedures will be circulated soon.