Owners of the popular Chevrolet Volt electric car may soon have the option to recharge their cars using renewable energy, thanks to a new solution from OnStar.
According to OnStar, “the technology is enabled as OnStar receives a signal from PJM Interconnection that shows the percentage of available renewable energy on the grid. Data from this forecast is downloaded to the OnStar cloud, or Advanced Telematics Operating Management System (ATOMS). OnStar uses this signal to simultaneously manage the charging of many Volts and to match the renewable energy availability.”
Naturally, in this day and age, a mobile app is the next step, a step that could alert customers to when renewable energy is available.
OnStar will be working with Google to demonstrate the technology on the 17 Chevrolet Volts in Google’s “Gfleet” based at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California during the 2012 DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio. Attendees will be able to see live demos at Booth 1543.
“This demonstration shows that in the near future customers will have a real signal of demand for renewable energy,” said Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development. “As customers configure their Volts to favor renewable energy for their charging cycle, this real demand signal will influence utilities to tap into renewable sources.”
PJM data has shown tat peak time for renewable energy generation from a wind farm usually takes place between 10pm and 6am. Subsequently, OnStar Smart Grid customers could further reduce their carbon footprint by charging during these off-peak times.
“Solutions like this one will ultimately lead to increased renewable energy generation and allow Chevrolet Volt owners to be a key part of that energy transformation,” said Pudar.
The renewable energy technology is the latest addition to OnStar’s suite of Smart Grid solutions. OnStar has also developed intelligent energy management technology solutions including:
- Demand response – This solution connects utilities to companies that have intelligent energy management products. These companies can use OnStar to manage energy use for Volt customers who opt in for the service. This future service allows the customer to save money on energy costs while enabling more efficient use of the electric grid.
- Time-of-Use (TOU) rates – OnStar can receive dynamic TOU pricing from utilities and notify Volt owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners will be able to use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower-rate periods.
- Charging data – OnStar also sends and receives EV data that helps utility providers without having to interface with the vehicle’s electric vehicle supply equipment. This includes location-based EV data that identifies charging locations and determines potential load scenarios.