March 8 (UPI) — General Motors signed an agreement Monday with the Pacific Gas and Electric Company to co-develop electric vehicle technology that would be able to power a home.
The San Francisco-based utility provider will begin testing the bidirectional charging technology with GM, with the goal of eventually safely powering the essential needs of a properly equipped home.
If successful, GM electric vehicles would be capable of functioning as on-demand power sources for homes in the PG&E service area.
“We’re on the cusp of turning our EVs into a power source for our customers,” said GM’s vice president of EV commercialization Rick Spina.
“And these customers aren’t even aware of it.”
PG&E has also partnered with BMW for the vehicle-to-grid technology, under the premise that EVs would be able to serve as a backup power source for a home in the event of a blackout.
The two companies are aiming to have the first vehicle-to-home EV charger pilot running this summer. The pilot will include multiple GM vehicles.
The pilot program will use both bidirectional hardware as well as software updates that will be compatible with existing vehicles and will “enable power to flow from a charged EV into a customer’s home, automatically coordinating between the EV, home and PG&E’s electric supply, allowing a small subset of customers’ homes to safely receive power from the EV when power stops flowing from the electric grid.”
The goal is to be able to quickly scale up the program by the end of 2022.