PG&E And BMW Partner On Next Phase Of Pilot Studying Advanced Electric Vehicle Charging

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and automaker BMW today announced the second phase of the BMW ChargeForward program to test the ability of electric vehicles (EVs) to support the electric grid and integrate renewable energy through smart charging.

BMW i3, BMW i8 and iPerformance EV and plug-in hybrid EV owners in the greater San Francisco Bay Area who are PG&E customers are invited to apply for participation in a 24-month program focused on managed EV charging. Eligible customers can apply at Funding for the second phase of this pilot program was secured by BMW through a competitive bid for a California Energy Commission (CEC) grant.

The first phase of the pilot demonstrated the viability of creating grid value by optimizing smart charging of EVs. BMW developed solutions that utilize the existing vehicle communication system to both create value for customers and improve reliability of the energy grid through demand response. Demand response programs improve reliability, lower costs and help the environment by incenting customers to cut usage during periods of high peak demand. Conducted from July 2015 through December 2016, the first phase of the PG&E and BMW pilot allowed 100 households located in the San Francisco Bay Area with BMW i3s to earn an incentive by offering flexibility in charging their EV.

"We have more than 100,000 electric vehicles in PG&E's service area of Northern and Central California. Through this pilot with BMW, we've learned that these drivers present a growing resource that want to be part of building our clean energy future," said PG&E Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions Aaron Johnson.

Building on the functionality tested in the first phase of the initiative, the next phase will explore the ability to optimize charging events wherever the vehicle is charging - at home or on the go. The goal is to expand and test new smart charging functionality to generate greater benefits to the grid and to EV drivers - including optimizing customer charging across multiple charging events, shifting charging across grid locations, and adjusting charging according to the level of renewables on the grid. As in the first phase of the pilot, BMW will ensure participants will always be able to use their vehicle when needed.

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