General Motors, along with OnStar, is preparing to launch the first real-world pilot of smart grid solutions for electric vehicles this year. This pilot program will be participated in by employees of regional utilities.
They will be tasked to drive leased Chevrolet Volts as their everyday vehicles. For the accurate monitoring and management of the energy used by the vehicles, the OnStar Advanced Telematics Operations Management System (ATOMS) will be used. From the data gathered, the utility will get a deep understanding of when the electric vehicles are recharged and where.
It also gets information on the demand response, enabling the utility to cut peak demand by switching EV charging to non-peak hours. Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development, said that while other OEMs only discuss smart grid technology, OnStar is “moving beyond research and development projects to a program in the real world."
He added that with this pilot program, it will be able to see real-time results on how intelligent energy management can optimize EV charging efficiency and diminish the electric bill for EV drivers.
Pudar said that OnStar is the only telematics provider that has the ability to make a wireless bridge between electric vehicles and the grid, building on what was learned from putting the Chevrolet Volts on the road. With the use of OnStar's ATOMS infrastructure and partners' solutions, utilities will be able to apply two Smart Grid services.
With the permission from its customers, OnStar will give the utility the details on overall charge level as well as charging history (time and location) for the Volt pilot fleet.
This can be done without requiring the vehicles to connect to a charging station. As a result, the utility gets an improved insight on how to predict demand, set rates, and find the finest location for charging infrastructure.