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Australia: ZigBee certified electric vehicle charger communicates with smart meters

An Australian-produced ChargeIQ electric vehicle charger has been given the green light by a Victorian Electric Vehicle Trial participant, with the innovation receiving high points for user-friendliness, flexibility, cost-savings and sustainability.

Developed by Australian technology company DiUS Computing, ChargeIQ is the only electric vehicle charger used in the Victorian Department of Transport’s recent Demand Response Load Control Electric Vehicle Trial.

What sets ChargeIQ apart is that it is the only ZigBee certified electric vehicle charger with the ability to communicate with smart meters.

ChargeIQ also features a web interface and smartphone application that allows drivers to take advantage of flexible pricing to reduce the cost of their electric vehicle charging.

As part of the trial, which ran from June to December 2012, motorists used grid-friendly charging – allowing their vehicles to be charged according to the needs of the electricity network provider and demands on the grid at any given time.

Vehicles were charged in peak, off-peak and emergency charge management times, testing the premise that if cars can be charged when demand for lower, drivers will save money and help avoid electricity price rises for everyone.

Engineer-turned-primary school teacher Howard Elston tested out the capabilities of ChargeIQ on a Mitsubishi iMiev loaned to him for the three months of the study.

A ChargeIQ unit was installed in the backyard of the home he shares with his wife in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

Elston says he was thrilled with how easy ChargeIQ was to use, not to mention how much money he saved.

“It costs me about $2 to $2.50 per charge, and you get about 100 kilometres on a charge. It’s great because you simply plug it in and turn on the mode you want it to charge in,” Elston said.
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