SAN DIEGO - OnStar said it demonstrated a variety of smart energy management technologies, designed to help electric vehicle customers and utilities plan better and save money, at last week's DistribuTECH smart grid conference and exposition.

Each of the demonstrations highlighted how OnStar can be used with smart grid technology to efficiently manage the electricity demand of electric vehicles. A Chevrolet Volt was used in the demonstrations. 

"Managing electricity supply and demand has always been extremely complex," said Nick Pudar, vice president of planning and business development at OnStar. "The embedded technology of OnStar allows for accurate monitoring and controlling of the energy used by electric vehicles like the Volt."

The demonstrations addressed:

  • Demand response -- This solution will connect utilities to companies like GE and Comverge that have intelligent energy management products. GE and Comverge demonstrated the use of OnStar to continually monitor and manage energy usage 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 time-of-use pricing from utilities and notify Volt owners of the rate plan offers via e-mail. Owners can use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower-rate periods.
  • Data gathering -- 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.
  • Vehicle-to-home integration technology -- OnStar displayed alongside Tendril to give attendees a look at how the Tendril technology platform enables vehicle-to-home integration.

The integration and demonstration of these OnStar smart energy management technologies are part of a program with participating utilities across the United States. The program is made possible with a grant of more than $30 million from the Transportation Electrification Initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

OnStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors.