Connecting EVs to grid could present cyberattack risk

Close-up view of electric vehicle charging (calculator EV)
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Connecting electric vehicles (EVs) to Australia’s electricity grid could leave the network open to risk of cyberattack and widespread power outages unless regulators get the security settings right early, SBS News reports.

Speaking at the Australian Cyber Conference in Melbourne, Electric Vehicle Council energy and infrastructure head Ross De Rango said addressing the cybersecurity issue was vital to preventing costly or damaging outcomes.

Related article: EV sales booming, but Australia still miles behind

While energy companies could schedule or “orchestrate” vehicle charging, De Rango said connecting this technology to the grid could pose new security threats.

Hackers could theoretically exploit security flaws to force all vehicles to charge at peak times, creating power outages.

“What happens if we are building a system where all of the EV charging normally happens at the right time and a malicious actor gets involved and all of a sudden the EV charging happens at the wrong time?” De Rango said.

“That’s where cybersecurity comes into it.”

De Rango said vulnerabilities could be exploited in software by vehicle manufacturers, software providers or energy companies.

“If we have a future where the means of connection and control is via the internet, there is a threat surface there that doesn’t exist right now,” he said.

The Electric Vehicle Council has just realised its new State of EVs report, which shows electric vehicles (EVs) now represent 3.39% of all vehicle sales in Australia—a 65% increase on 2021.

Related article: What will power the future: Elon Musk’s battery packs or Twiggy Forrest’s green hydrogen? Truth is, we’ll need both

Electric Vehicle Council head of policy Jake Whitehead said Australia needed a strong National Electric Vehicle Strategy to catch up to the rest of the world.

The Australian government’s National Electric Vehicle Strategy consultation paper will accept submissions until October 31.

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