With more electric vehicles entering the public, electric companies may begin to feel the stress on the grid as vehicles are plugged in at the same times. Ford Motor Company, along with seven other global automakers, are joining in for a first-of-its-kind technology to allow plug-in vehicles to respond to a request from energy companies to stop, and restart charging at peak moments.
The demonstration of the technology took place October 16th in Sacramento, California, and the program is in collaboration between Ford and the Electric Power Research Institute. The technology will work in concert to develop a two-way communication between the Ford electric vehicle, and the energy company. The system will enable the utility companies to send a message directly to the vehicle, asking it to stop charging temporarily as a way of helping de-stress an overloading grid.
“This first-ever test is a critical milestone as we move forward with our collective goal to advance electrification and boost the environmental benefits that come with that,” said Mike Tinskey, global director, Vehicle Electrification & Infrastructure for Ford. “Our intent is to add more capability to this technology so that it may be used broadly in the future.”
The Ford research program would be an opt-in situation, with energy companies offering incentives to participate while helping the utilities prevent power grid overload.
“This demonstration represents a major milestone that meets the needs of utilities and equipment manufacturers while simultaneously benefiting electric vehicle owners and electricity users,” said Dan Bowermaster, manager of Electric Power Research Institute’s Electric Transportation Program.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an automaker implement this sort of vehicle-to-grid interaction. General Motors, for example, has been contributing to electric power research with the Chevrolet Volt for a while now.