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July 20, 2011

General Motors, OnStar to Launch Smart Grid Solutions for Electric Vehicles



Automobile major General Motors (News - Alert) and its wholly owned subsidiary OnStar announced that they will launch the first real-world pilot of smart grid solutions for electric vehicles this year.

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The development is expected to pave the way for utilities to increase energy efficiency and offer lower charging costs to customers.

As part of the pilot project, employees of regional utilities will drive leased Chevrolet Volts as their everyday vehicles starting this quarter.

OnStar is a leading provider of connected safety and security solutions, value-added mobility services and advanced information technology.

“In contrast to other OEMs who are only talking about smart grid technology, we're moving beyond research and development projects to a program in the real world,” said Nick Pudar, vice president of planning and business development, OnStar, in a statement.

“Through this pilot we will see real-time results on how intelligent energy management can maximize EV charging efficiency and minimize the electric bill for EV drivers,” Pudar added.

Smart grid projects are already gaining momentum in the U.S. Many utility companies are encouraging customers to opt in to allow the utility to stop and start their home air conditioning units as needed when electricity demand is high.

Smart grid projects give benefits to customers as they will save on their electricity bills. OnStar's smart grid solution builds on this concept.

Through the OnStar Advanced Telematics Operations Management System (ATOMS), a utility will be able to monitor and manage the energy used by the vehicles. The data will give the utility insight into where and when EVs are charged and demand response, which allows the utility to reduce peak demand by shifting EV charging to non-peak hours.

Recently Nuance (News - Alert) Communications announced that its automotive speech technology powers the voice recognition and text-to-speech features of the OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle) retail rearview mirror.


Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf
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