Published on August 6th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro3
GM Joins National Smart Grid Consortium
Electric cars are just one part to cleaner transportation equation, as where the electricity comes from, and how efficiently it is used, is just as important as the EV itself. GM is joining a consortium of eight automakers and 15 electricity utilities to help integrate its OnStar-enabled Smart Grid program.
The first goal of this national effort to streamline EV charging is to develop a standardized Demand Response solution. Demand Response is the signal the utility sends to the energy management company which tells it just how much electricity is needed. While having a single EV plugged in to charge isn’t going to change the dynamics of electrical flow, once you have whole neighborhoods plugging in their cars every night after work, managing electricity becomes that much more important.
“If such a service were ever to be implemented for consumers that opt-in to it, they could receive a financial benefit or other incentive for allowing their vehicle charging to be managed,” said Tim Nixon, GM’s chief technical officer of Global Connected Consumers. “This would also allow utilities to help reduce stress on the grid and costs to all utility customers.”
Eventually, GM and other automakers hope to develop a cloud-based server that could read standardized electricity requests from plug-in vehicles, and dole out the electricity as-needed without crashing the grid or costing customers untold amounts of money. GM joins companies like Honda, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota, and 15 local energy utilities across America working to standardize the Smart Grid in a response to the rise of electric vehicles.