Eight global carmakers -- American Honda Motor Co., BMW Group, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors Co., Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America Inc., Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. – are collaborating to test technology that would enable utility companies to communicate with plug-in electric vehicles through the cloud.
The first-ever test of the technology was scheduled Oct. 16 in Sacramento, California, at the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s Customer Service Center. The carmakers are cooperating with the Electric Power Research Institute, leading utility firms and Sumitomo Electric in the development of a two-way communication platform that would allow their plug-in EVs from to work with power grids – thereby helping manage energy use and improve its efficiency of the grid.
The platform will allow the utility firms to send a message directly to the vehicle to request it to stop charging for a while when a grid is overloaded. If the system, however, determines that pausing the charge would disrupt driver needs, the charging would continue.
If not, the charge would pause to help conserve power for the grid. Utilities would provide financial incentives to customers who make their plug-in EVs available to the grid. Customers who entered the program could charge their cars at a preferred location and could choose ignore to the request.
Mike Tinskey, global director, Vehicle Electrification & Infrastructure for Ford, remarked that test is a critical milestone as the collaborators go on with their collective goal to advance electrification and boost its environmental benefits. He said the program is intended to add more capability to that technology to make it ready to be used broadly in the future. [source: Ford]