BMW and PG&E begin V2X testing in California

BMW and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) are collaborating to test how vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology can help offset growing demand on the power grid, improve reliability for electric customers, and maximize the usage of renewable energy.

The V2X testing, which is taking place at PG&E’s Applied Technology Services (ATS) Lab in San Ramon, builds on PG&E’s ChargeForward smart charging program, which was announced in 2015 and offers BMW EV drivers incentives to align their charging times with periods of high renewable energy generation.

The pilot is assessing how a typical home could maximize its renewable energy usage by switching between energy stored in an EV battery and renewable energy from the grid. The EV battery charges when the amounts of renewable energy on the grid are highest, and the battery discharges throughout the day to support the household load. Results show that a V2H-connected EV is capable of providing roughly double the amount of renewable energy that a typical California household would be able to use on an average day, significantly increasing customers’ ability to use more green energy on a daily basis.  

In the next stage of this collaboration, BMW will develop a test fleet of V2X-capable vehicles that will serve as a grid resource to help integrate renewable energy and balance the grid. This field test will evaluate how V2X technology can be used for advanced use cases that can be commercialized in future years and help support renewable integration on a neighborhood level. 

“Electric grid sustainability is becoming an increasingly complex challenge across the US,” said Adam McNeill, VP of Engineering at BMW of North America. “That’s why we started our ChargeForward program in 2015, to connect our vehicles, our customers and the grid.  V2X takes smart charging to the next level, exploring how EV batteries can be used for backup generation and other grid services.”

“At PG&E we are working with partners like BMW to unleash the full potential of EVs to enhance grid resilience and reliability for our customers,” said Aaron August, PG&E VP of Utility Partnerships and Innovation. “Using V2X technology to create virtual power plants from EVs can help utilities like ours meet peak electricity demand without the need for non-renewable energy resources.”

Source: PG&E

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