Earlier today, GM launched an all-new business called “GM Energy,” which will consist of Ultium Home, Ultium Commercial, and Ultium Charge 360, and serve to expand the copmany’s business opportunities beyond its core vehicle business. And, if this all sounds familiar, that’s because you’ve been paying attention.
It’s All About Energy
If you’ve been listening to my Electrify News Podcast with Chargeway founder Matt Teske, you’ve heard already heard me say that electric cars aren’t a new type of car — they’re cars that use a new type of fuel, and that focus on electrical energy as the real product being sold is the key ingredient in the secret sauce that has made Tesla, and its ecosystem of app, vehicle, charging network, solar, and energy storage solutions the huge, future-defining success that it’s become. GM is one such company that seems to “get it,” and the newly launched GM Energy division is going everywhere Tesla is.
“GM Energy’s connected product and service offerings are designed to offer cohesive energy management for home, commercial and EV customers, with solutions ranging from bi-directional charging, vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications, to stationary storage, solar products, software applications, cloud management tools, microgrid solutions, hydrogen fuel cells and more,” reads the press release. “GM Energy’s services will also enable the sale of energy from EV and stationary storage batteries back to utilities during peak, high energy consumption periods, unlocking even more potential value for customers and increasing resiliency for the electrical grid.”
There’s an awful lot to digest there, and the significance of this announcement cannot be overstated. It can be oversimplified, though, as this handy-dandy infographic of snack-sized content shows us (below).
GM Energy Allows an EV to Power Your Home AND Support the Grid
As you can see, GM seems to be responding to both the recent grid concerns in California that spawned so many misinformed tweets and Hurricane Ian that ravaged the East Coast in recent weeks, leaving tens of thousands without power. With a fully charged Chevy Silverado EV in the driveway, the company says, GM Energy will be able to easily move energy from your home to the grid and the grid to your home, enabling you to power your home with your EV and support — rather than strain — the power grid.
“The reliability of the US electrical power grid has never been more important,” said Travis Hester, vice president of GM EV Growth Operations. “GM Energy has the opportunity to help deliver sustainable energy products and services that can help mitigate the effect of power outages and provide customers with resilient and cost-effective energy management.”
The central interface for GM Energy will be called “Energy Services Cloud.” An online storehouse of data and energy management tools that, the company says, will help connect customers “seamlessly” with residential, fleet, and commercial energy assets (read: substations and connected batteries). Customers will be able to manage their energy use using GM-developed apps that leverage smart grid technology.
Big-name Partnerships, Big-time Power
GM Energy is launching with the full might of General Motors’ industry connections behind it — including big names like SunPower, PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), Con Edison, Graniterock, and the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) to name just a few.
“GM Energy’s mission is to offer customers access to a full suite of energy products and services, including solutions beyond the vehicle, accelerating the seamless transition to an all-electric future,” continued Hester. “With the expansion of our enterprise business through GM Energy and one of the most comprehensive portfolios of energy management products and services available, we will help to reduce the barriers of entry for sustainable power and further accelerate the mass adoption of EVs.”
For their part, GM’s collaborators seem equally enthusiastic. SunPower, for one, will develop and offer customers a complete, GM Ultium home energy system integrating EV and battery solutions, solar panels, and home battery energy storage. SunPower will also become a preferred installer for the home energy system and offer customers the opportunity to add solar to their home with a system that GM says will launch alongside the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV in 2023.
“The massive scale of GM Energy’s solutions will allow us to better address current challenges with grid infrastructure, energy storage and energy management head on,” says Mark Bole, vice president and Head of V2X Battery Solutions at GM. “By leveraging GM’s flexible technology platforms and the power of Ultium, we’re able to provide resilient and accessible energy solutions for all customers and the grid, helping to further advance the all-electric future.”
You love to see it.
Well — I do, anyway. What do you guys think? Is GM getting on the integrated energy ecosystem bandwagon too late to take down Tesla, or is ol’ Musky’s latest Twitter debacle (I assume there will be some new horrible thing by the time I hit “publish,” so I’m not even going to pick one) going to help GM Energy succeed? Scroll on down to the comments and let us know what you think.
Source | Images: GM.
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