- The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is piloting its electric vehicle control and aggregation platform in partnership with utilities DTE Energy, CenterPoint Energy, CPS Energy, Austin Energy, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, ComEd, TVA, Manitoba Hydro, Duke Energy, Southern Company and Northeast Utilities and automakers Ford Motor, General Motors, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Honda and Mitsubishi.
- The pilot aims to give utilities visibility into and control over plug-in electric vehicles when charging, enabling the vehicles to be used by the utilities as grid assets under a universal cloud-based platform.
- EPRI's so-called "OEM central server" will allow utilities to communicate with electric vehicles through a variety of communications technologies, such as Wi-Fi or ZigBee, and test out demand response capabilities.
"This cloud-based solution will be able to reach all these vehicles, so that when the electric grid sends out a message to manage load, a wide spectrum of cars would be able to participate,” said Dave McCreadie, manager of electric vehicle infrastructure and smart grid for Ford Motor Company, according to Greentech Media.
For now, EPRI and its partners will focus on the most basic demand response commands, such as turning the charging vehicles on and off. “Besides demand response, we will also be able to do frequency regulation; we’ll be able to do dynamic pricing,” McCreadie said.
But the applications of EPRI's platform could soon help utilities gain greater control over electric vehicle and utilize their ability to take and receive power to add flexibility to the grid.