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GM wants the electric car of the future to become a home power bank — and it starts with a pilot program in California

Electric vehicles have the potential to be more than just transportation — by using their battery packs to power homes and stabilize the grid.

That’s what the partnership between GM and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), announced Tuesday morning, aims to explore — with the eventual hope of making every GM vehicle compatible with two-way charging. Future.

According to GM, up to 85% of electric vehicle owners in the US charge their batteries primarily at home, and electric vehicles with large battery packs are capable of 24/7 operation but are typically only used for a fraction of their capacity. they.

The partners note that the average California home uses about 20 kWh per day. That’s less than a tenth of GMC Hummer EVbattery capacity.

Chevy Silverado EV - Sopranos Super Bowl ad, 2022

Chevy Silverado EV – Sopranos Super Bowl ad, 2022

In the pilot program, companies develop a software interface for the function and decide on a core set of hardware — including a smart inverter and switch. GM says that, depending on the load required, the solution it’s looking at could use either AC or DC.

GM says the pilot will allow a “small subset” of customers’ homes to receive electricity from their electric vehicles during a power outage. The two companies will initially focus on residential applications, and they say they will test the pilot program’s first vehicle-to-home-capable EV test program, with associated hardware, this summer. summer 2022.

Furthermore, GM and PG&E are looking to scale up the pilot rapidly, with larger customer trials beginning in late 2022. But they have yet to decide how to structure the program for bidders.

“It’s too early to tell what any of this looks like,” said Aaron August, PG&E’s PG&E for business development and customer acquisition. “That’s exactly why we’re in this testing phase and want to move into piloting; we wanted to be able to learn and figure out the right way to start structuring some of these things. ”

Ford Smart Backup Power - F-150 Lightning

Ford Smart Backup Power – F-150 Lightning

GM is not the first company to announce a two-way charging plan. Ford plans to make a system available to the public this year on F-150 Lightning. In the same way, that system can fill in the home backup power supply, and Hyundai will provide it a home energy ecosystem that will communicate between EV, home solar, charging and energy storage. VW also has a plan to do so Its future EVs have bidirectional capabilities.

GM says it will have more than one million units EV capacity in North America by the end of 2025 — including 600,000 electric trucks. Most or all of its EVs by mid-decade will build on its Ultium battery strategy, which revolves around large-format pouches. GM . own engine designand a wireless battery management system, among other prominent technologies.

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