Electric Vehicles

OnStar Creates API for Utility Companies That Want to Integrate EVs Into the Smart Grid

February 07, 2012

DETROIT – OnStar has created an application programming interface (API) for energy and technology companies interested in developing Smart Grid solutions for the Chevrolet Volt.

“With the power of OnStar behind it, the Chevrolet Volt is Smart Grid-ready today,” said Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development. “Now we need utilities and other companies to take the steps necessary to make Smart Grid solutions a reality for Volt owners.”

The set of Smart Grid APIs will focus on a variety of recently developed solutions from OnStar including:

  • Demand response – This solution connects utilities to companies that have intelligent energy management products. These companies can use OnStar to manage energy use for Volt customers who opt in for the service. This future service allows the customer to save money on energy costs while enabling more efficient use of the electric grid.
  • Time-of-Use (TOU) rates – OnStar can receive dynamic TOU pricing from utilities and notify Volt owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners will be able to use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower-rate periods.
  • Charging data – OnStar also sends and receives EV data that helps utility providers without having to interface with the vehicle’s electric vehicle supply equipment. This includes location-based EV data that identifies charging locations and determines potential load scenarios.
  • Aggregated services – This solution allows electric service providers to manage the charging of participating vehicles in a given geographic area, with customer consent. This includes the ability to control charging on a large amount of EVs simultaneously. OnStar recently showcased these capabilities on Google’s “Gfleet,” where a Volt would receive a renewable energy signal provided by an energy management company, opening up the potential to alert EV customers when renewable energy is available on the grid for charging.

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