Greentech Lead America: IBM has joined hands with
American Honda Motor and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) on a pilot
project. The new project will allow communication between electric vehicles and
the power grid.
The project will test an electric vehicle’s ability to
respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle’s
battery state. Energy providers can effectively manage charging during peak
hours and create consumer-friendly programs to encourage electric vehicle
The energy needs for electric vehicles will challenge the
current power grid as plug-in vehicle counts continue to grow to an expected
2.9 million worldwide by 2017.
The project is designed to ease the infrastructure and
consumer concerns associated with the mass adoption of EVs. A new level of
intelligence will make charging seamless for consumers, while ensuring the
electricity source is reliable and the infrastructure is stable.
By utilizing the in-vehicle communications system in the
Honda Fit EV, the electric vehicle can interact with utilities and the grid.
“This pilot project with IBM and Honda will help us
demonstrate that third-party providers have the systems and capabilities to
help meet some of the challenges that electric vehicles could place on the
power grid as their adoption increases in the coming years,” said Saul
Zambrano, senior director for consumer products for PG&E.
One of Honda’s main objectives is to work to advance
technologies that can address society’s environmental and energy concerns
through both alternative powertrain technologies, like 2013 Honda Fit EV
battery electric vehicle, and through groundbreaking research initiatives
similar to the Smart Charge project that we are collaborating on with IBM and
“It is our hope that these technologies and
infrastructure will pave the way for EVs of the future to be synched to local
electric grids to intuitively and seamlessly manage charging experiences,” said
Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office
at American Honda.
The IBM EV platform can collate historical EV charging
data and create a profile that can be used to forecast the location and
duration of EV charge loads. The program can determine how many EVs are plugged
in one neighborhood and the time it will take for each to reach a full charge.
“The growth and success of EV adoption is reliant upon
many factors, ranging from vehicle price and performance, to infrastructure
readiness, to the consumer experience – a scope that cannot be addressed by one
sole industry,” said Allan Schurr, vice president, Strategy and Development of
IBM’s Global Energy and Utilities Industry.