General Motors, Honda & Others Sign U.S. Electrification Accord


One finger can not lift a pebble.

“The future is electric” is a great catchphrase, and a small but growing number have been working at making it a reality for the past couple of decades. Over the years, arguments against changing transportation from being dependent on burning fossil fuels to a more sustainable system have raised a number of issues which would need to be worked out: a strengthening of the grid and ubiquitous charging facilities, are two examples. Now, a number of companies have all signed up to an agreement to work on these and other issues.

Called the “Transportation Electrification Accord,” it calls for organizations across various industries to work together toward a common goal. So far, the two biggest vehicle manufacturers involved are Honda and General Motors, but others such as BYD, Proterra, and Zero Motorcycles have also signed on. Utilities are represented by PG&E, Commonwealth Edison, and National Grid, to name a few.  Environmental groups and advocacy organizations, including Plug In America, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists are also onboard.

2018 Honda Clarity Electric

The effort enumerates its guiding principles on its website,, and invites other organizations to join the syndicate (sorry, it’s not open to individuals). Reading through the list of aims, there is an emphasis on developing charging infrastructure. It’s not just about installing charging points, of course, but also developing an intelligent support system behind it, and encouraging open standards to speed adoption.

To that last point, it’s interesting to note that one EV pioneering automaker guided by the same ” to accelerate the advent of sustainable transport” aim is not as yet involved (yes, we’re talking Tesla). Though it is a leader in building a charging infrastructure for its customers, it has insisted on using its own charging standard in North America, at least, while inviting, fruitlessly, other OEMs to join it.

The complete context and guiding principles of the Electrification Accord are:

  1. There is a clear case for electrifying transportation, which can provide benefits to all consumers (including the socioeconomically disadvantaged), advance economic development, create jobs, provide grid services, integrate more renewable energy, and cut air pollution and greenhouse gases.

  2. Electrified transportation should include, not only passenger cars, but also larger vehicles (e.g., transit buses and delivery trucks), as well as off-road equipment (e.g., airport and port electrification equipment).

  3. Accelerating an appropriate deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure based on market penetration projections along highway corridors, as well as throughout local cities and towns, is a critical element of electrifying transportation.

  4. It is critical to support electric transportation at the state and local government levels, whether it be through governors, state legislators, state commissions, state transportation agencies, state energy offices, mayors, or local governments.

  5. Electric utilities regulated by state and local commissions and boards, who serve the interests of the state and the public at large, have made substantial progress in accelerating the retirement of costly and less efficient fossil generation, and are poised to continue to make progress in promoting innovation, spurring greater grid efficiencies, and reducing harmful air pollution.

  6. Under appropriate rules, it is in the public interest to allow investor-owned and publicly-owned utilities to participate in and facilitate the deployment of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and/or supporting infrastructure for residential and commercial applications in their service territories to accomplish state and local policy goals. The distribution grid is incorporating new grid-edge features such as advanced demand response and distributed energy storage. In that broader context, utilities are well positioned to ensure that installed EVSE, whether owned by utilities or other parties, maximizes the public benefits of these innovations, through appropriate integration of these technologies in orderto maximize electrical system benefits for all classes of customers.

  7. The build out of EVSE must optimize charging patterns to improve system load shape, reduce local load pockets, facilitate the integration of renewable energy resources, and maximize grid value. Using a combination of time-based rates, smart charging and rate design, load management practices, demand response, and other innovative applications, EV loads should be managed in the interest of all electricity customers.

  8. To drive innovation and foster competition in the transportation electrification space, it is vital that open charging standards or protocols are adopted for both front-end and back-end interoperability. An open system also promotes greater transparency of vital data and information, which can be shared with a variety of innovative companies. The guidelines developed by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) should be used as the baseline. Data developed by third parties from behind-the-meter devices should also be made available to utilities for use in planning system architecture and EVSE.

  9. Consumers and EV owners will benefit greatly from a smart, efficient, and open architecture throughout the EV infrastructure. Ensuring interoperability throughout the EV architecture means that consumers should be able to roam easily among the different networks, with a common identification and authentication process, with as little hassle as possible. In addition, key consumer protection principles should be adhered to for all deployed EVSE regardless of the EVSE owner, including transparent pricing and open access policies. Drivers who charge in a manner consistent with grid conditions should realize fuel cost savings. Mapping locations and signage of the stations should also be provided for all consumers.

  10. Utilities should proactively engage their regulators, consumers and all stakeholders in developing rate designs, infrastructure deployment programs, and education and outreach efforts that benefit all utility customers and allow reasonable cost recovery, while accelerating widespread transportation electrification that supports a reliable and robust grid.

  11. Best practices, standards and codes should be a priority for all transportation electrification infrastructure installations. As new open standards and more advanced security measures are developed, these should be implemented in a timely manner by all operators of EVSE. It is critical that industry participants continue to collaborate on consistent communication protocols between the vehicle, infrastructure and grid to ensure system safety, security and reliability.


Source: Automotive News

Categories: BYD, Charging, Chevrolet, Honda


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18 Comments on "General Motors, Honda & Others Sign U.S. Electrification Accord"

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They can’t die fast enough.

Interesting to see this in the NYT article: “Americans for Prosperity counters that public transit plans waste taxpayer money on unpopular, outdated technology like trains and buses just as the world is moving toward cleaner, driverless vehicles.”

So the Koch brothers are apparently embracing the move to autonomous EVs. Of course they are.

If you didn’t, you need to keep reading that NYT article. Autonomous vehicles mean more roads, tires, and other items that are made from petrochemical products.

Mass transit like boring tunnels, mono-rails, subways? Not so much.


To be honest, most city planners effectively kill public transit with the way they design their cities (zoning, regulation, etc.) without the help of AFP/Koch.

The best I think most cities can do these days is park & ride w/ light rail.

EV fast-charge coalitions are now forming. Here we have EV manufacturers GM/Honda/Proterra/BYD (are they planning to sell in the US?) teaming with Greenlots/EVBox (charging system operators) and with Siemens (charging station manufacturer). Along with utility and software interests. Electrify America* is a competing coalition, with VW (manufacturer and major funder) with EVGo (operator) and ABB (charger manufacturer) + various utility and public interests. But this is good. National structured manufacturer-supported competition is far better than the seemingly random or government-directed/behind-the-times charger programs to-date. The manufacturers will likely supply seed money and provide voice to the size and type of charge stations, perhaps with charging subscription incentives for EV purchasers (yeah, I here SparkEV screaming “NOOOO! now:). The operators will locate stations to maximize use/revenue/profit, and the charge station manufacturers have a larger market worth improving their products. I like it that this coalition is focusing on the larger commercial charging requirements, too, with Proterra. Wouldn’t be surprised if Daimler joins, as they are now aggressive with commercial EV truck designs. wouldn’t be surprise if this coalition includes truck-stop-sited chargers in their plans. *Update on Electrify America’s current map. Four stations now in-service, with the specific locations for at least a… Read more »

“…BYD (are they planning to sell in the US?)”

BYD already sells EV buses in the US, and I think some EV trucks in Europe. They did try to test-market the BYD e6 several years ago, altho that didn’t go far. It seems almost certain that BYD will try again with a more competitive BEV passenger car.

Assuming, of course, that the current trade war insanity blows over.

I hate to return to old subjects, but the major accomplishment of ANY electrification agreement would be to standardize on a SINGLE FFFFING PLUG. Not three. One.

So do we gather behind the most popular and useful DC FC plug… more sales… then Tesla, Nissan/Kia CHAdeMO, or finally CCS connectors.I have voted with my wallet for Tesla, or Nissan, as I drive both of those. I have no need for the other connectors. The J1772 plug without DC is adequate for overnight charging, and it works fine with a converter for my Tesla or without it my Nissan. SO… can we coalesce around CHAdeMO and Tesla. Quickest… actually working and installed NOW not maybe later… or do we dither further. Any company that actually wants to compete with Tesla and have their charger network… all they must do is buy into the Tesla Batteries and SuperCharger network.

Doesn’t matter how old it is, it’s the most important subject related to EV charging infrastructure. I was disappointed to see the idea of moving to a true EV charging standard was buried so far down in this extremely wordy yet almost fact-free press release.

Definitely written by someone who would never use one word where 14 would do!

I like number 2. “Electrified transportation should include, not only passenger cars, but also larger vehicles (e.g., transit buses and delivery trucks), as well as off-road equipment (e.g., airport and port electrification equipment).”

Obama should have mandated an all electric fleet for US mail delivery by executive order. Mail delivery trucks are an ideal fit for EVs. Maybe it will happen if we can get a president in the WH that is both pro-environment and has some balls – you know somebody like Jill Stein or even Hillary.

Perhaps you have an exaggerated idea of what a U.S. President can accomplish via executive order. Those cannot contravene existing law, and the U.S. Postal Service is tightly controlled by Congressional oversight… which is one of the reasons it’s so unresponsive to new technologies and streamlined business practices.

U.S. Presidents are neither autocrats nor dictators, much as the Orange Wannabe Dictator wishes otherwise.

“…it is vital that open charging standards or protocols are adopted for both front-end and back-end interoperability.”

Wow, I finally found this kernel of actual information, drowned in a sea of almost entirely fact-free corporate-speak!

I hope this really does mean that the auto makers listed above will work together to create a true, forward-looking EV charging standard, and not merely just one more competing protocol.

Up the EV revolution!

Notice point 9 includes this LICE friendly line:
“… Drivers who charge in a manner consistent with grid conditions should realize fuel cost savings…..”

I’m surprised this hasn’t garnered more discussion from people. Manufacturers, electricity providers, and charging providers collaborating to advance the overall quality of EV-based transportation is pretty amazing. I hope it translates to real measurable outputs.

Yeah there’s plenty of jaw-boning… but not much progress. There was one little blurb suggesting time-of-day pricing for charging – encouraging more efficient use of existing resources which is the first time anyone but me seemingly has worried about that.