Volt Owners May Soon Get Charged with Renewable Energy via the Smart Grid

A couple days ago GM and Google announced a joint project to explore using smart grid technologies to let Volt owners get the semblance of sourcing their electricity from renewable energy resources.  The technology appears to the user via OnStar, and shows the percentage of available renewable energy on the grid.  Data from this forecast is downloaded to the OnStar cloud, or Advanced Telematics Operating Management System (ATOMS). OnStar uses this signal
to simultaneously manage the charging of many Volts and to match the renewable energy availability. A mobile app could also be used to alert customers when renewable energy is available.The project is a test fleet of 17 Volts at Google’s headquarters.

“This demonstration shows that in the near future customers will have a real signal of demand for renewable energy,” said Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development. “As customers configure their Volts to favor renewable energy for their charging cycle, this real demand signal will influence utilities to tap into renewable sources.”

The renewable energy technology is the latest addition to OnStar’s suite of Smart Grid solutions. OnStar has also developed intelligent energy management technology solutions including:

Demand response – This solution connects utilities to companies that have intelligent energy management products. These companies can use OnStar to manage energy use 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

Time-of-Use (TOU) rates – OnStar can receive dynamic TOU pricing from utilities and notify Volt owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners will be able to use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower-rate periods.

Charging data – 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.


About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.
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One Comment

  1. The OnStar apps for the Volt is so cool. This will make it even better. Go OnStar!

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