(AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

More proof electric vehicles are building momentum in Australia has arrived in the shape of a $210,000 Victorian Government grant to an 18-month research project on electric vehicle (EV) charging led by Delta Energy Systems Australia, in partnership with Nissan Australia and the CSIRO.

The project will study off-grid EV charging, using solar power and battery backup, and how best to configure charging to reduce impact on the electricity grid, as well as maximising the use of renewable energy.

Delta said CSIRO would be used as the primary research site, while Nissan would test the prototype systems via their new fleet of Nissan Leafs.

“Developing alternative sources of energy is our priority as we pursue innovation in the electric vehicle space,” said Stephen Lester, Nissan Australia’s managing director.

“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.”

Before year’s end Nissan Australia will launch the latest version of the all-electric LEAF, which together with Hyundai’s soon-to-be-launched Ioniq and Tesla’s long-awaited Model 3 will bring many more pure electric cars to Australia.

The grant comes out of the New Energy Jobs Fund (NEJF) which supports Victorian projects that create long-term sustainable jobs, increase the uptake of renewable energy generation, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and drive innovation in new energy technologies.

The Delta-designed system will undergo tests to confirm its performance in various environmental conditions in the temperature control chamber at the CSIRO Monash facility.

After these initial tests are successful, researchers will deploy the system at Nissan Australia’s headquarters in Melbourne.

Here the system will undergo extensive field trials with a fleet of the new Nissan LEAF.

“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,” Victorian Minister Lily D’Ambrosio 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.”

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