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Friday, 26 March 2021 23:02

PG&E, BMW Group Taking Next Step in Powering EVs, Supporting Grid Reliability

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Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and the BMW Group on March 22 announced an expansion of their partnership focused on smart charging electric vehicles (EVs) with excess renewable energy to support grid reliability.

PG&E and the BMW Group are kicking off phase three of their ChargeForward program. This new phase will expand the program to all BMW EV drivers in Northern and Central California who are PG&E residential electric customers.

 

Designed for a larger group of BMW EV drivers---about 3,000 EV drivers compared to 100 and 400 in phase one and two---phase three of the pilot will further explore how incentivizing drivers to shift their EV charging times can help meet the needs of the electric grid and use excess renewable energy available during the day.

 

As part of this, PG&E will work with BMW to send signals to participants encouraging them to charge at times that support the grid.

 

Enrollment in phase three of the ChargeForward program kicked off March 22, with the program launching in mid-April and running through March 2023.

 

In the future, PG&E and the BMW Group believe vehicles could play a larger role in supporting the grid as new vehicle technologies are developed. Future EVs may have the capability to discharge the vehicle battery to support the grid, expanding the capabilities beyond smart charging and supporting customers and the grid during emergencies.

 

To support this, PG&E and the BMW Group will collaborate in a lab setting to explore this potential by testing vehicle-to-grid functionalities. These efforts could support bill savings for customers driving EVs and include testing the use of EV batteries for backup generation and other grid services.

 

What is Smart Charging?

 

Through smart charging, EVs act as a flexible grid resource to support the overall reliability of the electric grid. Smart charging focuses on...


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