Hot topics these days are the benefits and drawbacks that a combination of electric vehicles and smart grid could offer, especially V2G (vehicle-to-grid) projects and time-of-use electricity pricing. Vehicle-to-grid projects involve the use of electric vehicle batteries to supply power to the electricity grid on demand. Electric vehicles, meanwhile, can take advantage of time-of-use electricity pricing when programmed to charge automatically only during off-peak hours, when electricity rates are lowest.
Both EV owners and power companies can benefit from this, minimizing the wasted, surplus electricity utilities produce during off-peak hours while providing EV owners with cheap fuel.
The Cadillac ELR will have smart grid capabilities right off the assembly line, it was recently announced. So, finally, communication between vehicles and power grids will no longer be just a theory. The ELR will come with the OnStar RemoteLink mobile app, which will show the vehicle’s state of charge, remaining range, and miles driven. It will also facilitate remote commands and enable its owners to schedule charging at whatever time suits them best (for example: off-peak hours).
“While RemoteLink is really our first Smart Grid service to be available for consumers, the same connection we use to enable the app’s EV functions can be used to open the door for more energy cost and load control benefits,” said Russ Eling, manager, Smart Grid and EV Services, General Motors.
- Demand response – This future service connects utilities to companies that have intelligent energy management products, allowing OnStar to manage energy use for ELR customers who opt in for the service. Benefits include saving money on energy costs and enabling more efficient use of the electric grid.
- Time-of-Use rates – OnStar can receive dynamic time-of-use pricing from utilities and notify ELR owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners would 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 can send and receive EV data including location-based EV data that identifies charging locations and determines potential load scenarios.
- Aggregated services – This solution allows electric service providers to manage the charging of participating vehicles in a given geographic area, with customer consent. This includes the ability to control charging on a large amount of EVs simultaneously. These services could potentially result in a more efficient use of clean energy.
Keep an eye on the latest Cadillac ELR news here on CleanTechnica.
Image Credit: Cadillac Website.
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