Auto Electronics

PG&E and Tesla Motors study smart charging

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors are partnering to research smart charging, a form of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology that allows remote-control charging of electric vehicles connected to the power grid. Tesla Motors will work with PG&E to equip a Tesla Roadster with communications technology to enable intelligent charging. PG&E is also working with Tesla to support the installation of Tesla’s charging stations into customers' homes or businesses.

Tesla chief technology officer JB Straubel noted that V2G allows for the bi-directional transfer of electricity between electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles and the electric power grid. While V2G is conventionally considered as the delivery of power from a vehicle back to the power grid, vehicles can provide other useful services. By allowing the vehicle charging rate to be remotely ramped up and down, for example, a vehicle can perform regulation, to fine tune the balance between generation and load.

V2G has the potential to turn each vehicle into a remotely controllable energy storage system. Thus, if it were deployed on a wide scale, V2G could provide a large, remotely controllable energy storage resource able to support a greater share of electricity generation from intermittent renewable resources.

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