The EV charging stations

We’re all used to making a trip periodically down to a fuel station. In the electric vehicle era we are going to transition from refuelling to recharging – and we want to make sure that Horizon Power is ready to provide safe, reliable power to EV charging stations when needed.

We have lots of 2020 questions around how drivers in regional WA will charge up when they’re driving an electric vehicle.

As part of our EV pilot we are hoping 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.

Refuelling vs. recharging

With an internal combustion powered vehicle, you have to head down to a fuel station to fill up the tank when it’s low. With an electric vehicle, anywhere that has power is effectively a fuel station – as EVs can be charged anywhere with a power socket.

So when thinking about electric cars, it’s important to remember that instead of charging up only when the battery is low, EV drivers can charge up every night when going home – and if their work place has a charger at work.

As part of our EV pilot study we want to learn about any charging behaviour patterns our EV gurus may develop, like when, where and how often they charge up. This will start to provide us with insights as to how EV drivers more broadly may charge their EV.

Charging an electric car at home

Our two EV gurus will drive the 100% electric Hyundai Konas, each have a home charger installed. The home charger is also monitored by a separate sub-meter, meaning that we can access detailed energy use data to see when the home charger is being used, and how much electricity it sends into the electric car battery.

If connected to a standard power point, the 100% electric Hyundai Kona would take about 30 hours to charge. But by using an EV home charger the 100% electric Kona will charge overnight in about 10 hours.

Charging an electric car at work

As part of our pilot we’re installing a 22kW AC fast charger at our Broome and Esperance depots, so when our EV gurus drive the 100% electric Hyundai Kona to work, they will be able to plug in and charge up throughout the day. We want to see if these chargers are used, or if they simply prefer to charge their electric car at home.

Even better, the electric vehicle charging stations at our Broome and Esperance depots are free for the community to use too!

What’s your 2020 question?

If you have a 2020 question about electric vehicles ask us and we’ll do our best to answer it!

Learn more about our Electric Vehicle Pilot and subscribe for all the latest EV pilot study updates below.