PG&E partnering with GM to use EVs for on-demand power pilot

General Motors and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company announced an exciting collaboration.

The two companies will pilot GM electric vehicles as an on-demand power source in Northern and Central California.

The pilot will utilize the ability for GM vehicles to complete bidirectional charging with purpose-built hardware.

As well, the two companies are  developing software-defined communication protocols for the pilot.

These protocols will allow power to flow from a charged EV into a customer’s home if power stops from the grid.

Following lab testing between PG&E and GM, the pilot will expand to a small subset of customers’ homes in the summer of 2022.

If successful, the companies hope to expand the pilot to a larger customer trial by the end of 2022.

PG&E CEO Patti Poppe spoke about the pilot:

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. 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.

GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra also noted that:

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

GM did not confirm if other power companies are talking with the automaker for similar pilots in other regions.

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