Siemens supports first electric vehicle research facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere
Siemens technology will play a key role in the first electric vehicle research facility of its kind in the southern hemisphere being established at RMIT University. The ‘living lab’ research facility will feature critical infrastructure like EV charging stations and regenerative grid and battery simulators and will be a space where researchers and industry can collaborate and test concepts in ‘real’ scenarios.
Announced by the Hon Gayle Tierney MLC under the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF), the initiative is part of the Supporting the Electrification of Victoria’s Future Fleet project bringing government, university and industry partners together around the expertise and infrastructure needed to support widespread adoption of electric vehicles in Victoria.
With transport responsible for around 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in Victoria, Minister Tierney said electrification of transport was critical for tackling climate change, as well as creating new jobs in low-carbon industries.
“This is an important project for the future of clean, green transport in Victoria but also for our plan to meet net zero emissions by 2050 through innovative research and the development of new technology,” Tierney said.
We know our local universities have a lot to offer which is why we’re working with them, and industry, to build a bright future – while also creating great study, research and job opportunities for Victorians.The Hon Gayle Tierney MLC – Victorian Minister for Higher Education
This further strengthens the relationship between Siemens and RMIT; one that already includes the Digital Energy TestLab at the university and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between RMIT, Siemens and Festo signed to drive industry and workforce transformation. Siemens technology has also been playing a pivotal role in RMIT achieving its sustainability goals, helping the university save energy, water and carbon emissions over the last few years.
Speaking on the announcement, Jeff Connolly, Chairman and CEO of Siemens in the region said, “The path to achieving net zero is not linear and needs a multi-faceted approach led by people who can harness various new digital technologies that address the complex challenges of our society. I welcome projects such as Supporting the Electrification of Victoria’s Future Fleet as they facilitate collaboration between three entities that can bring about change for good: government, industry and education.
Enabling current and future workforces with the power to simulate the entire energy grid and experiment the interplay between different energy infrastructure such as microgrids, charging stations and renewable energy sources is critical to understanding the rapidly changing energy landscape.Jeff Connolly – Chairman and CEO, Siemens Australia Pacific
The RMIT-led research consortium includes Monash and La Trobe universities and industry partners Siemens, City of Melbourne, Centre for New Energy Technologies (C4NET) and CitiPower/Powercor.
RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Calum Drummond, said that this critical infrastructure will build on RMIT’s existing microgrid and renewable generation facilities.
“We’ll be developing cutting-edge battery technology and simulating the impacts of widescale electric vehicle adoption on electricity grid loading, prices and the broader system,” Drummond said.
As well as applied technology development, a full-scale applied research project will inform policy towards Victoria’s net zero emission targets in the transport sector, proactively addressing both likely and unforeseen challenges as electric vehicles are adopted at accelerated rates.Professor Calum Drummond – Deputy Vice-Chancelor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, RMIT University
The joint projects of the research consortium will all focus on the mission of ensuring a smooth transition to sustainable transport in Victoria and supporting the state’s targets, including development of a zero-emission public bus fleet by 2025, and having half of all new car sales zero emission by 2030.
To this end, the lab will also act as an analysis platform to support critical Victorian Government initiatives and trials. This includes an upcoming study by RMIT and industry partners into the cost, befits and impact of zero emission buses on the electricity grid, based on the government’s three-year electric bus trial.
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