New technology lets EVs decide when they should start charging
The companies have begun a pilot using modified versions of the Honda Fit EV, which is based on the Jazz sold in Europe. Once plugged in, the car’s telematics system sends a charge request to PG&E via IBM’s cloud-based data exchange platform. This analyses the load on the local power grid and the state of the car’s battery charge to automatically create a recharge schedule, which instructs the car to begin topping up immediately or to wait until demand drops.
Historic data gathered using the system can also be used to create user profiles on drivers and forecast peak usage, energy needs and to transmit information about local charging points back to the car. The technology is aimed at reducing the risk of blackouts, without impacting on vehicle usability.
Steven Center, vice president of the environmental business development office at American Honda, explained: "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 our 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 PG&E.’
‘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.’