Dutch electric car project paves the way for Australia

Wednesday, 26 May, 2010

As Australia launches its first public electric car charging station in Sydney, Logica has announced it is working with the Dutch e-laad.nl foundation company to lay down the national infrastructure necessary to roll out 10,000 charging stations for electric cars in the Netherlands. In one of the world’s first major electric car trials, Logica’s systems will provide the backbone for a range of services that will be developed for clients using the charging stations.

Robert Heaton, Management Consultant - Transport & Logistics, Logica Australia, says the success of this project will have a profound impact on Australia’s own electric car initiatives as the industry looks to learn from international experience. “Despite their impact on the environment, more than 77% of Australians rely on a car as their primary means of transport. For those who can’t turn to public transport or cycling to help reduce their impact on the environment, electric cars can provide an attractive and sustainable solution.

“Early adoption of green technology will be driven by consumer demand coupled with governments’ willingness to support green transport options. As demand increases, we expect to see electric cars becoming a hot area for electoral campaigns in the near future with local governments leading green initiatives. We are already receiving interest from local authorities about how Australia could benefit from the Netherlands’ e-laad project.”

Local governments are already showing support for electric car trials in Australia. On 24 May 2010, the Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP opened Australia’s first public on-street electric car charging station in Glebe as part of the GoGet car-share scheme.

“For electric cars to take off in Australia, transport authorities, energy companies and local governments will need to pull together to develop a national strategy and standards. The fact we have different organisations with a vested interest in how the technology is deployed here will be a key challenge for Australia,” added Heaton.

“In order to encourage people to choose electric cars over conventional models, it is important that local governments develop attractive incentive schemes that encourage consumer adoption. These might be discounted electricity rates, free home charging meters, premium parking options and, of course, a ready network of charging stations across the country. The government must work closely with electricity generators, power distribution companies, service providers and manufacturers to build the initial infrastructure and present attractive offers for the consumer,” said Heaton.

The e-laad.nl foundation was set up through a cooperation of Dutch energy grid companies looking to offer sustainable transport by stimulating the use of electric cars. The foundation is collecting essential data needed for future energy grid investments, which will benefit governments worldwide as more countries look to invest in electric car projects.

E.laad’s charge point interactive system has received international acclaim and was recently recognised by IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program as a 2010 laureate.

Logica delivers the back office system that e-laad.nl will be using to maintain the 10,000 charging stations and process transactions. In an earlier stage of the project, Logica had developed a similar back office system in a successful trial and also developed the software used by charging stations. Through the e-laad.nl project, Logica combines its knowledge and experience in several markets. Logica has been delivering systems for the energy market and is a prominent technology player in the field of intelligent transport systems. It is also a supplier of transaction and payments systems to the energy, telecoms and financial markets.

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