GM will launch a pilot program using electric vehicles to power homes

General Motors is getting into the home charging business with a new pilot program that harnesses the company’s new electric vehicle designs as the power source to keep the lights on.

The Detroit automaker announced Tuesday morning that it will partner with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to test the feasibility of using GM-made vehicles to safely power essential utilities inside a home. .

It would not be the first time that the capabilities of electric vehicles have been used for the purpose of powering a home. Some owners of Ford’s new electric truck models took advantage of its power-sharing capability to heat homes during a 2021 Texas power outage.

GM’s pilot program represents the latest utility automakers hope to use as a selling point when bringing electric vehicles to market.

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“GM’s collaboration with PG&E further expands our electrification strategy, demonstrating that our electric vehicles are reliable mobile power sources. Our teams are working to rapidly scale this pilot project and bring two-way charging technology to our customers.” , GM President and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. .

The first pilot tests will begin in the summer of 2022 in California. Several GM electric vehicles will be tested.

According to a statement, the two companies will use bi-directional hardware and software that will allow electricity to flow from a charged electric vehicle to a customer’s home. It requires coordination between vehicle, home and utility company to be successful.

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Field demonstrations will follow the lab tests, in hopes that the process will become user-friendly.

The companies hope that successful trials will allow the partnership to expand power sharing capacity to more customers by the end of the year.

Ryan H. Bowman