UK-Australia Centre in a Secure Internet of Energy: Supporting Electric Vehicle Infrastructure at the "Edge" of the Grid

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Computing


The Internet of Energy (IoE) is a paradigm towards achieving a "zero-carbon" society by optimising electrical energy usage, especially for emerging loads such as Electric Vehicles. The paradigm is a recognition that integrating the internet of things with energy sources and demand loads, enables real-time processing of data streams to support actionable decision support. The aim of this centre-to-centre collaboration is to conduct fundamental multi-disciplinary research in the cyber resilience of future IoE systems. As electric vehicles are likely to make the greatest use of battery capacity in the future, they will play a key role in the IoE infrastructures.

According to the "Global EV Outlook 2020" report (, International Energy Agency), Electric Vehicle sales topped 2.1M globally in 2019, surpassing 2018 - already a record year - to boost the stock to 7.2M electric cars. As technological progress in the electrification of two/three-wheelers, buses and trucks advances and the market for them grows, electric vehicles are expanding significantly. This growth is further amplified through government regulations, e.g. phasing out of diesel and petrol vehicles. This percentage is also likely to grow both in the United Kingdom and Australia. To meet climate-change goals, half of UK cars must be electric by 2030 (according to the UK government). Similarly, the Australian government ( predicts that by 2040, electric vehicles (EVs) are projected to account for 70% to 100% of new vehicle sales. To meet the demand of the growing EV population, UK and Australian governments are ramping up the installation of charging infrastructure. For example, there are now more than 35,000 charge point connectors across the UK in over 13,000 locations - with around 7,000 charge point connectors added in 2020 alone.

This makes electrical vehicles significant energy consumers in the IoE, with their batteries also providing the potential for energy storage in times of emergency or unexpected surges in demand. However, this benefit can only be effectively realised if we can secure the interaction between Electric Vehicles (EVs), charging infrastructure and the national grid. Since 2016, the number of cyber incidents involving vehicles has increased by 605%, with incident rates doubling on a year to year basis (according to 2020 Upstream security's global automotive cybersecurity report). The target of such cyber-attacks is not only private EVs but also commercial EVs.

This proposal combines workstreams on attack modelling, data synthesis, attack generation and validation of these using testbeds across the UK and Australia. A simulator will be developed to support a number of "what-if" investigations in cyber resilience for EVs to be carried out. Partners in this proposal have expertise in cybersecurity, power electronics, electrical vehicles, artificial intelligence and distributed computing, and have extensive prior experience in multi-site collaborations. The IoE (cyber-physical) security theory developed in this project will also contribute to accelerated adoption of EV energy prosumers at the edge of the power grid.

This proposal will also provide an opportunity for experienced and early career researchers to work collectively on the challenges identified above. A "future leaders" training programme will be developed as part of this proposal to create an "ideas exchange" community across students and academic faculty between the UK and Australian partners. Our industry partners will also be engaged through workshops and "sandpit" events to identify use cases that have industry relevance and which could provide the basis for future startups (in collaboration with entrepreneurship teams at our institutions). The shared testbeds and simulation environment developed will also provide a legacy on completion of this work.


10 25 50