GM And OnStar Launch Program To Help Utilities Manage EVs On The Grid

General Motors and OnStar have announced that they are partnering on a pilot program to provide utilities with energy monitoring and demand response for electric vehicles.

Starting this quarter, hundreds of employees of regional utilities will drive leased Chevrolet Volts as their everyday vehicles and participate in the pilot. Through the OnStar Advanced Telematics Operations Management System (ATOMS), utilities will be able to monitor and manage the energy used by the vehicles. According to the companies, this data will give the utility insight into where and when EVs are charged and provide demand-response options.

Through OnStar's ATOMS infrastructure and partners' solutions, utilities will be able to implement two smart grid services.

First, with the customer's permission, OnStar will provide the utility with the overall charge level, as well as charging history – by time and location – for the Volt pilot fleet, without the vehicles having to connect to a charging station. This will give the utility better insight for forecasting demand, setting rates and determining the best location for charging infrastructure, the companies explain.

Second, OnStar will allow the utility to actively manage EV charging for those who opt in to the service. The utility can then reduce peak loads by offering discounts or other incentives to encourage drivers to charge their EVs when overall electricity demand is lowest.

‘Through this pilot, we will see real-time results on how intelligent energy management can maximize EV charging efficiency and minimize the electric bill for EV drivers,’ says Nick Pudar, OnStar's vice president of planning and business development.

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