Pilot Program Is to Show How EVs Can Improve Power Grid Efficiency:
EV Owners Will Be Paid to Defer Their Charging When Grid Is Stressed
BMW and northern California’s Pacific Gas & Electric utility are promoting BMW iChargeForward, a two-part pilot program that aims to reduce the cost of electric vehicle ownership while demonstrating the ability to integrate renewable energy into the power grid.
Select drivers of BMW’s battery electric i3 vehicles will receive $1,000 initially, and an additional reward of up to $540 at the conclusion of the 18-month program, based on their level of participation.
The goal is to provide PG&E with 100 kilowatts of capacity at any given time, regardless of how many BMW electric vehicles are charging, as part of a voluntary load-reduction program known as “Demand Response.”
Please Give Us an Hour
“In the managed charge pilot program,” explains a release “select BMW i3 owners will allow PG&E to request a delay in the charging of their vehicles by up to an hour, when grid loads are at their peak.”
Participants whose vehicles are selected for delayed charging will receive a text message notifying them that their vehicle will stop charging for up to one hour, thereby temporarily reducing the load on the power grid. Using the BMW iChargeForward smartphone app, participants can opt out of any request based on their driving needs, and their vehicle charging will continue uninterrupted.
BMW begins accepting applications via the www.bmwichargeforward.com website this month. The program will kick off in July.
EV Batteries to Enable Solar for the Grid
The program also includes a “second life” for used Mini E batteries, by “repurposing” the batteries into a stationary solar-powered electric storage facility at the BMW Technology Office in Mountain View, Calif.
Such batteries have at least 70% of their original storage capacity available, making them suitable for re-use, PG&E and BMW note. “By removing them from the vehicle and installing them in a stationary storage system with integrated solar power generation, new renewable capacity can be added to the grid – supported by resources that once took energy from it.”
James Ellis directs electrification and EV customer programs at PG&E.
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Source: PG&E and BMW with Fleets & Fuels follow-up