About the Electric Vehicle Pilot

Why run an electric vehicle pilot?

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are about to become the new normal, and at Horizon Power we’re preparing for a future filled with clean, green electric cars.

We’re running the Electric Vehicle Pilot to:

  1. Learn more about EVs in general, gaining insights into what they are like to use;
  2. Better understand how EVs could impact our microgrids, and learn more about what the future EV charging demands of our communities could be on our microgrids;
  3. Learn more about what the driver experience of using an EV over an extended period of time in regional WA is.

The pilot is taking place at opposite ends of our service area in both our Esperance depot in the Esperance/Goldfields region and our Broome depot in the Kimberly region. They have become our ‘EV depots’.

Our EV depots will each have an electric vehicle charging station and a 100% electric Hyundai Kona added to their fleet. The electric vehicles will be driven by a Horizon Power team member for a year.

By running the pilot at different locations, we can identify any major differences in the way that the vehicles are used day-to-day or in the charging behaviour between the two regions. This will allow us to better plan for the EV future across each of our different microgrids – a future that is fast approaching.

What’s involved in the pilot?

A team member at our Esperance and Broome depots will become an ‘EV guru’, driving a 100% electric Hyundai Kona – as they would a standard combustion engine car – for the next 12 months. They’ll have an EV charger installed in their homes, supported by an EV charger at the depot which is also available for public use.

Every time the Kona is charged, we will collect the energy use data so we can better understand the charging behaviour of regional EV drivers. Our EV gurus will also help us learn about the things that are harder to measure with just numbers – things like ‘range anxiety’ (that’s the anxiety an EV driver feels over the possibility of running out of charge before the end of a trip).

So what’s next?

Our pilot kicks off in February 2020. We will update our findings on this blog regularly – be sure to subscribe to our 2020 question newsletter below and stay up to date!

In the meantime, if you have a 2020 question about electric vehicles, ask us and we’ll do our best to answer it!

What we learn from the pilot today will help us power the electric vehicles of tomorrow.