PG&E, GM Pilot Program Taps EVs as Backup Power Sources for Homes


Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) and General Motors (GM) are collaborating on a pilot program to use GM electric vehicles (EVs) as on-demand power sources for homes in PG&E’s service area. PG&E and GM will test vehicles with bidirectional charging technology that can help safely power the essential needs of a properly equipped home.

“We are really excited about this innovative collaboration with GM. Imagine a future where everyone is driving an electric vehicle – and where that EV serves as a backup power option at home and more broadly as a resource for the grid,” says Patti Poppe, PG&E Corp.s’ CEO. “Not only is this a huge advancement for electric reliability and climate resiliency, it’s yet another advantage of clean-powered EVs, which are so important in our collective battle against climate change.”

PG&E and GM aim to test the pilot’s first vehicle-to-home capable EV and charger by summer 2022. The pilot will include the use of bidirectional hardware coupled with software-defined communications protocols that will enable power to flow from a charged EV into a customer’s home, automatically coordinating between the EV, home and PG&E’s electric supply. The pilot will include multiple GM EVs.

“GM’s collaboration with PG&E further expands our electrification strategy, demonstrating our EVs as reliable mobile sources of power,” comments Mary Barra, GM’s chair and CEO. “Our teams are working to rapidly scale this pilot and bring bidirectional charging technology to our customers.”

Following lab testing, PG&E and GM plan to test vehicle-to-home interconnection, allowing a small subset of customers’ homes to safely receive power from the EV when power stops flowing from the electric grid. Through this field demonstration, PG&E and GM aim to develop a user-friendly vehicle-to-home customer experience for this new technology. Both teams are working quickly to scale the pilot with the goal of opening larger customer trials by the end of 2022.

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