EV Energy Rationing Lite – “Monetary incentives could guide charging behaviours”

Essay by Eric Worrall

University of Melbourne explaining the velvet glove approach to EV charge time coercion.

A zero-carbon transport sector needs more than electric vehicles

Decarbonising Australia’s transport systems will take more than a transition to electric vehicles. Understanding how and when owners like to charge their cars is important. Our researchers are examining how we might persuade the increasing electricity demand to meet the time-dependent renewable energy supply.

Electricity use already peaks at around 6 pm. The added load from masses of commuters plugging in their vehicles at once would strain the grid – and complicate Australia’s transition to renewable energy.

However, intelligent management of electric vehicle charging can bridge gaps in the renewable energy supply. EVs could charge from solar cells during the day and feed electricity back to the home or the grid in the evening.

“Electric vehicles can be hugely beneficial while we make our grid smarter and more sustainable,” says Professor Mancarella.

Researchers must understand when EVs will be drawing power from the grid – especially as Australia transitions to weather-dependent renewable energy.

“Being able to shape behaviour is fundamental, because you’re going to need to convince your demand to behave in a way that meets your supply,” says Dr Lavieri.

“People are living on budgets, and they are trying to minimise their costs,” says Dr Lavieri.

Monetary incentives could guide charging behaviours. These include free public charging and time-of-use tariffs – discounts for charging at off-peak times.

Read more: https://research.unimelb.edu.au/strengths/updates/news/zero-carbon-transport-sector-needs-smart-ev-charging?sfid=7012e000000C8zbAAC&utm_medium=email&utm_content=TT_AI_AP_2023_transport_newsletter_2_CTA_Story_3&utm_source=mse&utm_campaign=R_All_2023_BD_TT_AI_AP

What a shame nuclear power, which could avoid the need for energy rationing by delivering full power output any time of day, is too expensive and difficult.

Except in France where they are obviously a lot smarter than everyone else in the world, or have a special kind of engineering ability which makes nuclear affordable – they managed to affordably decarbonise most of their electricity supply using nuclear in the 1970s.

I mean, our politicians wouldn’t be lying to us about the cost of nuclear power would they? Surely they wouldn’t be considering imposing energy rationing and price coercion, when there was an affordable zero carbon alternative to coercion which they just couldn’t be bothered to support? Surely not.

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Tom Halla
September 28, 2023 2:07 pm

Green politicians on treadmills?

Curious George
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 28, 2023 4:56 pm

“EVs could charge from solar cells during the day and feed electricity back to the home or the grid in the evening.”
Just don’t drive them

John Hultquist
Reply to  Curious George
September 28, 2023 8:00 pm

I can’t think of why anyone would do that — unless the “during the day” charging was free. Would this not increase the cycles and degrade the battery?

Bryan A
Reply to  John Hultquist
September 29, 2023 9:32 am

Hmmm, charging during the day…that would be, for most people, charging while at work and would require access to charging infrastructure while parked at work.
Either charging ports in every workplace parking space installed by the business or at every roadside parking place installed by the city. Especially if ALL cars are to be Electric and Gasoline/Diesel fuels are to be eliminated.

September 28, 2023 2:18 pm

The environmentalist wanted everybody to stop using nuclear and use conventional(fossil) fuels instead. Now they’ve changed their mind and want us to use windmills and solar that doesn’t work at night.

Reply to  scvblwxq
September 28, 2023 3:48 pm

“and solar that doesn’t work at night”

A few months ago I got a sales call from a solar company & the guy was claiming that solar was now so efficient you could get energy in bright moonlight !!!
Told him he was a scammer & put the phone down …but should have kept him talking & recorded it.

Alexy Scherbakoff
Reply to  1saveenergy
September 28, 2023 10:01 pm


Reply to  scvblwxq
September 28, 2023 4:51 pm

In most parts of the world, wind speeds drop as the sun goes down.
So you can’t count on wind at night either.

September 28, 2023 3:16 pm

“Being able to shape behaviour is fundamental, because you’re going to need to convince your demand to behave in a way that meets your supply,” says Dr Lavieri.

If you live in South Australia, the best time to charge your EV is lunchtime on a sunny day in September and October. You might spin that out to November before the air-conditioners are always on.

Hopefully the charge in November gets you through to a sunny day in late March when the air-conditioners are turned off.

So lets shape behaviour to suit the rooftop solar, which is in abundance at lunchtime when it is sunny but the heat has not set in or is on its way out.

Demand was only 200MW at such time yesterday. Gas plants were ordered on to keep the place stable.

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John the Econ
September 28, 2023 3:17 pm

Another conspiracy theory becomes reality.

September 28, 2023 3:24 pm

So people should charge their EV during the day instead of driving it, then discharge it in the evening into their house. Which leaves the battery empty the next day so they still can’t drive.
There doesn’t seem to be much point in wrapping a car round the battery.

September 28, 2023 3:28 pm

Hey guys….I just saw Gerald Celente pop up ….haven’t seen him in years…he is against the global warming scare…I don’t agree 100% with him….but then I don’t agree 100% with me.

Ron Long
September 28, 2023 3:28 pm

EV’s: taste like schist and are expensive and maybe you can’t charge it to go to your yoga class? OK, build nuclear power plants and you can charge them to your hearts content, but they still might catch on fire and have no re-sale value when the battery is old. Gotta get me some of that. Not.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron Long
September 29, 2023 3:35 am

It looks like your behavior has not been sufficiently shaped, Ron. 🙂

September 28, 2023 3:56 pm

Electricity prices that vary with time are most prevalent in the famously liberal Texas //sarcasm

Giving people access to price data so they can make choices tracks with libertarian principles, and prices are a direct result of market forces.

There are plenty of good things to panic about. This isn’t one of them.

Beta Blocker
September 28, 2023 4:01 pm

From the referenced online article: “One U.S. company, NuScale, is the only SMR design in the US to have received “design certification” from the NRC, but can’t or won’t built that, and has now reapplied for a larger unit which might be more economic.”

The fact is that NuScale is using the same basic SMR design as originally approved by the NRC for 50 MWe, but has uprated its nameplate capacity to 77 MWe. It’s my personal expectation that the NuScale design will be the first SMR design to see commercial operation in the United States.

The uprated capacity of the NuScale design requires a thorough NRC review to determine if it still meets the required safety standards at its revised capacity rating.

NuScale is shooting for late 2029 to have its first six-unit SMR plant in operation in eastern Idaho. My personal opinion is that the first NuScale plant’s capital cost will be in the range of $8500 to $9000 USD per kw installed.

Assuming that further NuScale SMR units are ordered and produced, and that production eventually becomes a more or less a continous operation, the capital cost for each NuScale plant will fall into the range of $5000 to $6000 USD per installed kw.

In any case, the only way Australia can achieve Net Zero by 2035 is for the government to impose draconian energy rationing on Australia’s population and economy.

If Australia’s coal-fired power stations continue to be shut down according to the currently published schedule, strict energy rationing will become the new normal for the average Australian.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Beta Blocker
September 28, 2023 8:21 pm

” … build the commercial reactors at the Energy Department’s 890-square-mile (2,300-square-kilometer) site in eastern Idaho that includes the Idaho National Laboratory. “

The site (appears) to allow the project to by-pass the many permitting requirements that would be encountered if the site was, say, 50 miles from Portland, home of NuScale Power. That is a 10-year advantage.

September 28, 2023 4:04 pm

Nobody wants to discuss the fact that Hollywood Russia depiction got something exactly right: that Russians believe that wine has a protective effect against radiation (source: American movies with Russian nuclear subs).
That belief, plus their inherent drive to drink, led to massive alcohol use post “Chernobyl catastrophe” (that was a terrible accident, not a nation wide catastrophe), making it indeed a nation wide catastrophe in Ukraine, and a Soviet myth of heroic workers avoided destruction of Europe… complete fabrication!

We need to fight present Ukraine propagandist who still exploit these Soviet mental constructions.
(Maybe we should make our help to Ukraine conditional on Ukraine not making up more lies on Chernobyl, not even in a fight of propaganda against Russian military propaganda.)

Reply to  niceguy12345
September 28, 2023 4:54 pm

Russians love to drink, therefore the Ukraine is making up lies about Chernobyl?

Reply to  MarkW
September 28, 2023 6:52 pm

Nope. The toll of Chernobyl on civilians can be explained 100% by over drinking to compensate for exposure to radiation, as said in Hollywood subs films.
And it’s a real civilian health catastrophe.

Reply to  niceguy12345
September 28, 2023 6:15 pm

The cost of the regional disaster that was the Chernobyl disaster, contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Reply to  JamesB_684
September 28, 2023 6:53 pm

They managed to under react at first then over react. The exact opposite of reasonable, measured reaction.

CD in Wisconsin
September 28, 2023 4:39 pm

“Monetary incentives could guide charging behaviours.”


Monetary incentives are what has given us the climate alarmist and green energy narratives in the first place. Or it is at least one of the incentives.

When governments make something pay well, the recipients the cash aren’t going to argue. Nothing is beyond the influence of govt corruption.

September 28, 2023 4:40 pm
John Hultquist
Reply to  observa
September 28, 2023 8:13 pm

It seems the facts of this incident are not yet clear;
” the explosion took place at a customs warehouse near the airport, “

Joseph Zorzin
September 28, 2023 4:47 pm

news tip:

Lightning strike causes explosion in Uzbekistan leaving one dead and 162 injured

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
September 28, 2023 7:56 pm
michael hart
September 28, 2023 5:11 pm

“EVs could charge from solar cells during the day and feed electricity back to the home or the grid in the evening.”

Umm, no.
I would charge it, where possible, during the day and then unplug the vehicle to maintain its charge.
Then, in case I want enough juice to drive to the Sydney opera house in the evening and still have enough to get me to work in the morning, I’ll be OK.

Reply to  michael hart
September 28, 2023 7:47 pm

Surely you’d stump up for a bigger range EV lithium battery than you need for transport in order to help firm the grid for your neighbours else where’s your sense of community man?
Your grid needs YOU!

Chris Hanley
September 28, 2023 5:14 pm

Remove all subsidies and mandates get the state out of electricity supply altogether and let consumers decide what energy sources they want to buy in a free open market.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Chris Hanley
September 29, 2023 3:45 am

That’s the ideal. Unfortunately, ignorant politicians are involved.

September 28, 2023 6:06 pm

Nuclear could be much more competitive, if the heavy hand of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was less onerous. Companies like X-Energy, NuScale Power, and GE-Hitachi, among dozens of other designs, could put SMR power producing plants on line fairly quickly.

Beta Blocker
Reply to  JamesB_684
September 28, 2023 6:48 pm

JamesB_684: “Nuclear could be much more competitive, if the heavy hand of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was less onerous. Companies like X-Energy, NuScale Power, and GE-Hitachi, among dozens of other designs, could put SMR power producing plants on line fairly quickly.”

It’s not quite that simple. Yes, the NRC must further streamline and reduce its oversight role so that the smaller advanced reactors and the large-scale Gen III+ reactors aren’t being unnecessarily impeded in the way that they are now being impeded. That said, this has to be done while still maintaining the public interest in the oversight of basic nuclear safety.

For SMRs to take off in the US, the production facilities must gain the operational experience needed to make the theoretical cost benefits of SMRs real. This is a process which will take a decade or more to complete.

I pay close attention to what two firms are doing in the area of SMRs. One is NuScale, the other is Last Energy. NuScale is targeting the worldwide market for general purpose SMRs, while Last Energy is targeting Europe for supplying industrial customers with behind-the-meter supplies of electricity.

The NuScale and Last Energy designs are basically conventional light water designs downscaled into smaller packages.

NuScale has been working with the NRC for a decade or more to get its design approved. That firm has a significant advantage over the other oncoming American ‘advanced reactor’ SMR designs in that it is much further along in the NRC review process; and in that their SMR design uses conventional uranium fuel as opposed to the more highly enriched HALEU fuel whose sources of supply are now quite uncertain as a direct consequence of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Last Energy’s business strategy is to serve customers in Europe thus avoiding the need for NRC approval of its SMR design. Last Energy belives that attempting to gain NRC approval of their design would result in costly design changes which are not warranted by any environental or radiation exposure concerns.

The costly design changes which Last Energy wants to avoid are being driven by what many including myself believe to be an unwarranted fixation by the NRC on the Linear No Threshold theory (LNT) of radiation exposure risk, and by its concommittant partner in over-regulation ALARA — As Low as Reasonably Achievable.

Izaak Walton
September 28, 2023 7:05 pm

I mean, our politicians wouldn’t be lying to us about the cost of nuclear power would they?”
well in the UK, the government agreed to pay the owners of Hinkley C 102 pounds/MWhr for electricity generated from the newest Nuclear power plant. Currently in Australia the cost of a MWhr of electricity is about $100 so about 1/2 the price of nuclear energy.

Erik Magnuson
September 28, 2023 9:26 pm

I’m of the opinion that time of day pricing can be a good thing as it would encourage people to schedule power power consumption away from times with peak demand. Coupled with elimination of subsidies for “renewable electric generation”, time of day pricing for buying electricity would also go a ways to rationalize renewable power investment. It would also encourage solar and wind generators to include more local storage so they could make money at peak demand even though the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
September 29, 2023 2:15 am

It already operates on the railways. In the UK, anyway. Travel at peak times and it will cost you more. Well, not in Scotland from 2 October 2023 to 31 March 20324, anyway. Due to the influence of the Green Party the Scottish Government is abolishing peak-time fares during that period. So, on the one hand, greens want to raise peak-time charges to reduce demand and on the other they want to reduce peak-time charges to…….(win votes?)

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
September 29, 2023 8:47 am

The problem is that wind and solar don’t produce power when it is needed.
As to using batteries, it will take a long, long time for a couple of cents per kilowatt to pay back the hundreds of trillions of dollars needed to buy enough batteries to make even a marginal difference.,

Reply to  Erik Magnuson
September 29, 2023 8:48 am

To put it another way.
All of this is doable, today.
When you figure out why those who spend their own money aren’t taking advantage of this money making proposal of yours, perhaps you will figure out why wind and solar are incapable of powering a modern economy.

Coeur de Lion
September 28, 2023 11:53 pm

Oh by the way what is Australia doing about decarbonising’ all those ginormous 12 wheel artics? And lorries generally? Come on, tell us.

September 29, 2023 12:22 pm

Doh – its what used to be called economy 7. I’ve charged my car on cheap electricity between 1:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. for the last 10 years

Beta Blocker
September 29, 2023 12:26 pm

John Hultquist says this in a comment above concerning NuScale’s new-build nuclear power plant in eastern Idaho:

” … build the commercial reactors at the Energy Department’s 890-square-mile (2,300-square-kilometer) site in eastern Idaho that includes the Idaho National Laboratory. “  The site (appears) to allow the project to by-pass the many permitting requirements that would be encountered if the site was, say, 50 miles from Portland, home of NuScale Power. That is a 10-year advantage.


Basic nuclear safety is the responsibility of the NRC, a federal agency. However, state regulators can impose environmental requirements on plant emissions, and can impose stipulations on emergency planning & response zones. 

The size of a particular nuclear power plant’s emergency response zone is determined by the NRC. States have a voice in determining emergency response planning requirements. If push comes to shove in a conflict over how extensive the planning details for a particular nuclear power plant must be, the most important voice the states have is to either accept or reject the plant’s emergency response plan. 

The NuScale SMR design’s emergency response zone, as determined by the NRC, doesn’t extend beyond the plant fence. That is so because the reactor vessel modules use natural circulation for cooling, and because the modules reside in a pool of water which can collect excess heat from the reactor vessels should natural circulation fail for some reason.

The fundamental reason why NuScale is now ahead of its SMR competitors is because the firm’s design combines an optimum mix of SMR technical and operational advantages on the one hand, and control of project management risk on the other.

The firm’s design is a light water design which uses conventional low enriched uranium (LEU) nuclear fuel, as opposed to most of its US competitors which use high assay low enriched fuel (HALEU). 

LEU fuel is readily available worldwide, as opposed to HALEU fuel which was being supplied primarily by Russia prior to the Russia Ukraine war. That source of supply is now cut off to US reactor developers.

It is an open question whether or not enough HALEU fuel will be available to support the future requirements of the TerraPower, X-energy, Oklo, and Kairos Power advanced reactor designs.

In addition, the NRC’s staff and its licensing procedures are geared towards review and approval of conventional light water reactor designs. The agency’s staff and review procedures are not currently geared towards dealing with the oncoming advanced reactor designs, many of which don’t use conventional light water technology.

Moreover, the NRC’s senior management and its staff have been resistant to the procedural and technical philosophy changes needed to better support the advanced reactor designs now being developed by TerraPower, X-energy, Oklo, and Kairos Power.

By choosing a more-or-less conventional light water technical approach, NuScale reduced the risk that the NRC couldn’t and/or wouldn’t approve their reactor design on a time schedule consistent with other project scheduling needs.

A major issue for NuScale and for all the other oncoming SMR designs is the current high inflation in the costs of the industrial and material resources needed to build their reactors.   

The politically-driven move towards wind & solar plus battery backup is placing enormous pressure on the world supply of the industrial and material resources needed to construct any new-build energy facility, regardless of its fuel or its technology.

Wind & solar plus battery backup doesn’t have anything like the energy production density of nuclear, of coal, and of gas-fired power generation. There is an order of magnitude difference.  

What we are seeing here with rising capital costs for nuclear, driven in large part by strong competition for energy-related industrial resources from renewable energy projects, are the increasing effects of Granholm’s Law — bad energy drives out good.

NuScale is a Portland, Oregon firm. Its technical and managerial roots go back to nuclear research on alternative reactor designs done at Oregon State University in Corvallis in the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

But will Oregon, or California to the south, ever accept a new-build nuclear power plant? Not a chance. Will California keep Diablo Canyon open beyond 2025? This is not at all certain at this point.

Washington State has a different attitude towards nuclear. Our state government is open to the possibility of new-build nuclear if it can be clearly demonstrated that the new plants can be constructed on cost and on schedule. 

X-energy has signed an MOU with Energy Northwest to construct up to a dozen of their SMR designs north of Richland, the first unit to be completed by 2030. IMHO, it will actually be 2035 before the first X-energy plant is up and running in Washington State. Or later if Granholm’s Law continues on its path of bad energy driving out good.

September 30, 2023 10:26 am

There is a very easy solution to this question. Drive internal combustion vehicles, you can fuel them anytime you want, you can drive them anytime you want, you can use the air conditioner or heater anytime you want, you can drive as far as you have to and still refuel, your fuel won’t leak out even when you don’t drive and if it does you can fix it, you don’t have to add sound to it so people hear you coming and we can use all that electricity for important things like making toast or watching tv.

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