Software Lets Electric Vehicles Make Smart Connection

GridPoint, Inc., a clean tech company, recently demonstrated its "smart charging" capabilities at the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) conference in Washington, D.C.

In real-time, GridPoint technology can simultaneously manage the power flow to a fleet of plug-in vehicle resources.

"By embedding GridPoint's software in electric vehicles, we enable utilities to offer reduced charging costs to customers and allow clean energy, such as wind and solar power, to be used as a source for recharging vehicles," said Tony Posawatz, Volt Vehicle Line director, General Motors. "Additionally, we help utilities eliminate the need to build new power plants that would otherwise be required to support the mass adoption of electric vehicles."

GridPoint software enables electric vehicles to be "grid aware," allowing the timing and pace of charging to be adaptively controlled to meet the needs of both drivers and the grid. Within parameters set by vehicle owners, utilities can charge vehicles in a manner that optimizes the grid – charging when renewable energy is available or when grid energy usage is low; thereby reducing grid stress and carbon emissions. During peak periods, utilities can also control the rate of charging to reduce demand spikes on the grid.

Consumers who enroll in a utility's charging program could receive significantly reduced charging rates, thereby reducing the cost of "electric fuel" and the overall cost of electric vehicle ownership.