The Electric Power Research Institute announced in late July that together with 8 automakers and 15 utilities, it will create an open grid integration platform for plug-in electric vehicles.

It seems that all the topics like demand side management, off-peak charging and V2G could be included on one platform for the whole industry. According to EPRI, the software platform will be developed with global application in mind.

"The Electric Power Research Institute, 8 automakers and 15 utilities are working to develop and demonstrate an open platform that would integrate plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) with smart grid technologies enabling utilities to support PEV charging regardless of location."

"The platform will allow manufacturers to offer a customer-friendly interface through which PEV drivers can more easily participate in utility PEV programs, such as rates for off-peak or nighttime charging. The portal for the system would be a utility's communications system and an electric vehicle's telematics system."

"As the electric grid evolves with smarter functionality, electric vehicles can serve as a distributed energy resource to support grid reliability, stability and efficiency. With more than 225,000 plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads -- and their numbers growing -- they are likely to play a significant role in electricity demand side management."

"The platform enables integration across multiple communication pathways, such as automated metering infrastructure (AMI), home area networks, building energy management systems, and third party entities that aggregate energy management services for commercial and industrial power customers."

"Researchers anticipate that grid operators in the future may call on electric vehicles to contribute to grid reliability by balancing solar and wind generation, mitigating demand charges and providing ancillary services such as frequency regulation and voltage support."

EPRI lists 15 utilities and regional transmission organizations participating and supporting in the software and hardware development and demonstration. In total there are more than 3,300 utilities in North America, which indicates how important such a standard could be.

  • DTE Energy Company
  • Duke Energy
  • PJM Interconnection LLC
  • CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
  • Southern Company
  • Northeast Utilities
  • Southern California Edison
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Company
  • San Diego Gas & Electric
  • Commonwealth Edison
  • TVA
  • Manitoba Hydro
  • Austin Energy
  • Con Edison
  • CPS Energy
On the carmakers side we see eight companies, among which missing are Nissan and Tesla.
  • American Honda Motor Co.
  • BMW Group
  • Chrysler Group LLC (wha?)
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors Co.
  • Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc.
  • Mitsubishi Motors Corporation
  • Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.
The core platform technology on the first phase of the project will be developed by Sumitomo Electric.

Dan Bowermaster, EPRI manager of Electric Transportation stated:

"A key aspect of the platform's benefits will be giving customers flexibility and choices. It can help the PEV customer determine the value of using their parked vehicle as a grid resource, and help the industry develop a convenient, user-friendly customer interface. We see this as the foundation for future developments to integrate PEVs with the grid."

Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda remarked:

"This project is an important step in enabling plug-in vehicles to reach their potential as a valuable distributed resource that can increase grid stability, improve power quality and reduce demand peaks. Honda is participating in several projects aimed at accelerating vehicle-to-grid integration, which has the potential to reduce the total cost of owning a plug-in vehicle while enabling higher concentrations of renewable energy."

Cliff Fietzek, Manager BMW Connected eMobility Group commented:

“This collaboration will make it easier for electric vehicle drivers to save money by enabling the utility to schedule charging for times during the day when demand for electricity is relatively low. In addition to this collaboration, BMW is developing technology that will allow our customers to easily control when and how their cars charge, and also to seamlessly integrate with home solar power generation and energy management systems.”

Mike Tinskey, associate global director, Electrification Infrastructure for Ford said:

“This innovative platform provides a critical enabler for the next step in vehicle electrification. It’s a way for plug-in electric vehicle drivers to be financially rewarded for their willingness to help manage the electric grid.”

Tim Nixon, chief technology officer, Global Connected Consumer general manager adds:

“One thing that’s missing from most Smart Grid programs is a sense of collaboration. Companies will showcase a meaningful solution, but without widespread acceptance in the industry, its usability is limited. That’s what makes this partnership unique.”