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GM’s exploring V2H, V2G, and Virtual Power Plant capabilities for EVs

General Motors (GM) is looking to accelerate the adoption of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities in EVs. A new partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will investigate integrating bidirectional charging into the grid to improve energy distribution.

It’s no secret by now, GM is going all in on electric vehicles with its strategy to provide an “EV for everyone.” The automaker’s CEO Mary Barra has even gone as far as to say she’s confident GM will catch current leader Tesla by 2025.

To fuel the transformation, GM has unveiled several highly anticipated electric models, including the Chevy Equinox EV, with a starting price tag of around $30,000.

Meanwhile, in October, GM introduced a new business unit called GM Energy, which aims to “reimagine” our energy system with a host of new products, dedicated backup home power, and a network of charging stations.

Eventually, the automaker says, through its energy business, customers will have access to advanced technologies such as:

  • Bidirectional charging
  • Vehicle-to-home (V2H)
  • Vehicle-to-grid (V2G)
  • Stationary energy storage
  • Solar energy and microgrid solutions

After revealing its new energy business, GM said it was already testing V2H applications with Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). Now GM and SDG&E are taking it a step further by exploring how EVs, chargers, and batteries can help enhance the energy grid with V2G integrations.

Chevy Silverado EV Source: Chevrolet

GM and SDG&E look at EV V2G applications

Under the agreement, GM and SDG&E will investigate how they can use EVs with bidirectional charging into the electric grid to enhance stability during peak demand.

GM and SDG&E will take a holistic approach, studying solutions needed to accelerate vehicle-to-grid adoption, which includes:

  • Documenting best V2H practices so that the benefits are apparent to consumers.
  • Creating systems to help utility providers and automakers tap into cloud-based energy management platforms and distributed energy resources (EVs with V2G) to create Virtual Power Plants.
  • Investigating using EVs to assist in microgrid environments, promoting grid resiliency in communities. Microgrids are designed to use the stored energy in batteries as backup during an outage.

As part of the new partnership, GM and SDG&E will look at three vehicle-to-grid integration abilities, including V2H, V2G, and Virtual Power Plants.

GM VP of EV growth operations, Travis Hester, talks about the role this technology can plant in the future, stating:

As GM continues on its journey towards an all-electric future, expanding the capabilities of EVs represents a significant opportunity to help strengthen grid resiliency and mitigate the impact of disruptions.

Both GM and SDG&E have signed the Vehicle to Everything (V2X) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which pools resources from the U.S Department of Energy (DOE) and its partners to accelerate and enable bidirectional EV integration into the energy grid.

US DOE technology transitions commercialization executive, Rima Oueid, says:

Bidirectional charging holds tremendous potential for increasing the country’s energy security and grid reliability in addition to supporting economic opportunities for communities throughout the nation.

Electrek’s Take

Electric vehicles offer much more than just zero-emission travel, instant torque, and a smooth ride. They also have the potential to act as mobile energy stations with powerful batteries.

Why not use them to enhance the grid and protect the nation’s energy security? As electric vehicles continue rolling out at a record pace, integrating them with bidirectional charging makes sense. If the power goes out, you can plug your EV in and power your home.

On the other hand, if peak energy demand rises, we can tap into the power of electric vehicles rather than starting up the heavily polluting peaker plants.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising