20 percent of U.S. EVs are in PG&E service area
New tech would allow use of cars as home supply during outages
General Motors and Pacific Gas and Electric have just announced a new pilot program to jumpstart using EVs as on-demand power to help supply homes and balance out grid demand in the company’s service area.
“We are really excited about this innovative collaboration with GM. 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,” said PG&E Corporation CEO Patti Poppe.
Starting this summer, GM and PG&E plan to test the first vehicle to home capable EV charger. The new bidirectional charger and special software communications will allow power to flow from an EV to the home. It will be coordinated with PG&E’s grid to ensure smooth transitions, and the pilot will include multiple EVs.
After lab testing, the two intend to test it in the field using customer homes to get power from the EV when the power stops from the grid.
One out of every five EVs in the U.S. is based in PG&E’s service area. The same service area is prone to outages during dry and windy conditions as the utility and government officials work to help prevent live wires from contributing to California’s wildfire issues. Using an EV to give homes power during these cuts could help the grid, the customer, and the state’s fire resources.