& cplSiteName &

Utilities Drive Connected Cars Into the Smart Grid

Jason Meyers

As part of the Internet of Things (IoT), the connected car will dispatch emergency services and provide passengers with a slew of navigation and infotainment apps. And thanks to collaboration between utilities and automakers, electric cars could also become part of the smart grid to help both power providers and drivers optimize power consumption.

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has teamed with eight automakers and 15 US utilities to work toward a unified connection between utility power grids and plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

"We wanted to look at more intelligent ways of charging vehicles -- matching energy needs to availability on the grid," says John Halliwell, principal project manager with EPRI.

The aim of the collaboration is to create an open platform that would allow utilities to connect to all PEVs, regardless of make, to communicate information like rates for off-peak or nighttime charging. The platform would also facilitate the integration of PEVs into automated metering infrastructure (AMI) and home area networks.

Having electric cars integrated into the smart grid can allow utilities to better manage power loads, says Haukur Asgeirsson, manager of power system technologies for DTE Energy Company (NYSE: DTE), one of the utilities involved in the initiative.

"If the electrical system is stressed and you want to reduce load, you can have a deal with customers that have PEVs and ask them to reduce charging," Asgeirsson says. "Each automotive company has their own telematics system. This will give us a central server that will allow utilities to communicate to all kinds of different vehicles for a demand response signal. It simplifies the process."

Watson Collins, manager of business development for Northeast Utilities, which is also involved in the project, says the resulting platform and server will give utilities a unified way to manage power consumption by electric vehicles on their systems.

"It enables a lot more flexibility. We can make sure we coordinate with the needs of the automakers and the customers who are charging their cars," he says. "We as utilities don't have to create our own solutions to communicate with each automaker."

For more on how utilities are using communications innovation, visit Light Reading's dedicated utility content channel.

Utilities involved include DTE, Duke Energy, PJM Interconnection, CenterPoint Energy, Southern Company, Northeast Utilities, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison, TVA, Manitoba Hydro, Austin Energy, Con Edison, and CPS Energy.

Auto manufacturers involved are American Honda Motor Co., BMW Group, Chrysler Group, Ford Motor Company, General Motors , Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.

Halliwell of EPRI says the first phase of the initiative is to start testing platforms using live data from utilities, with the goal of standardizing an approach that could be built into new PEVs.

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

(19)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 11:08:01 PM
Re: Tesla was left out?
Open-source isn't always cost-efficient.  There tends to be less documentation and less support.
User Rank: Light Beer
8/19/2014 | 5:26:44 PM
Re: Would this be a good problem?
@Joe S,

I understand. I guess in the end, cost savings is good & SHOULD trickle down...right?
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/6/2014 | 4:33:27 PM
Tesla was left out?
I wonder why... if Tesla is "open sourcing" its charging tech, why utilities wouldn't want to include Tesla's tech...?
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/4/2014 | 7:35:45 AM
Re: reminders and alerts
@jasonmeyers: So are you saying that the people Instagramming their meals and texting while crossing the street are *smarter* for having smartphones?  :p
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/4/2014 | 7:34:35 AM
Re: Would this be a good problem?
I remember reading a lengthy article/study about how electric cars actually leave a larger carbon footprint than regular cars because of the manufacturing processes and the materials used to make them.  All buying an electric car does, in essence, is move pollution out of wealthier neighborhoods and into poorer neighborhoods -- while increasing it.

Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/4/2014 | 7:31:06 AM
Re: Would this be a good problem?
@pcharles: I was being sarcastic... but you bring up a good point that's just as applicable to the smart grid.  I think the utilities are betting (and I think it's a safe bet) that while they will get more of a "balance" with proper incentives to use electricity during off-peak hours, it won't skew the other way -- or, if it does, that will just change the definition of "off-peak," and the pendulum will swing the other way.

In any case, it's a cost-savings for all involved in the long run.
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/2/2014 | 7:13:07 PM
Re: Would this be a good problem?
This is an interesting article. Many people who have electric vehicles are taking from a different resource - it may not be fossil fuel, but in some cases, through the electric grid it is.

I get the concept of reduction here, however, since the car itself, by being electric, is not emitting pollution. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/1/2014 | 7:50:00 PM
Re: reminders and alerts
@telecomtails, you make good distinctions with IoT being machine-to-machine communication that creates a digital connection for devices, and the "smart" alerts and information capabilities with Smart Grids, etc.

I think you are right about the business opportunities.  The Smart Grid can be a platform for apps (of course, advertising will be an opt-in/out at some point as well).  But helping us remember and/or respond to actions needed, is a good thing.
User Rank: Lightning
8/1/2014 | 11:15:17 AM
Re: reminders and alerts
Hey - sign me up too
User Rank: Blogger
8/1/2014 | 10:56:18 AM
Re: reminders and alerts
You're right - one of the values of the smart network is that it could help me be less dumb. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, September 14, 1:00PM EDT
What Is Agile?
Kent J. McDonald, Product Owner, Agile Alliance
Friday, September 16, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement Agile
Alan Bateman, Director, Agile Transformation
Wednesday, September 21, 1:00PM EDT
What Is DevOps?
Colin Kincaid, CTO, Service Provider, Cisco
Friday, September 23, 1:00PM EDT
How to Implement DevOps
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: UXP Systems' Gemini Waghmare

8|26|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
LRTV Custom TV
F5 Virtual Network Function Integrations With Partner Orchestration Platform

8|24|16   |   6:38   |   (0) comments

F5's Kishore Patnam, product manager for F5's service provider solutions, discusses why service providers are moving towards virtualization and how his clients are utilizing F5's solutions.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat: Intel's Alexis Black Bjorlin

8|17|16   |   06:23   |   (0) comments

Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Accelerating Telecom Digital Transformation With Nominum DNS

8|1|16   |   12:04   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders gets an update from Nominum CEO Gary Messiana on how his company is helping carriers on the digital transformation journey.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments

Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment

As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments

VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments

Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (2) comments

In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments

Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments

How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Cisco Developing 'Monica' Digital Assistant
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 8/22/2016
FirstNet: A Billion-Dollar Boondoggle?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/26/2016
WiCipedia: Should Men Be Included? & Olympians Face Discrimination
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/26/2016
Google Fiber Can't Be Called a Failure
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/26/2016
Google Fiber Downsizing Not Confirmed
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders and UXP Systems CEO Gemini Waghmare discuss the strategic importance of digital identity for operators in the midst of transformation.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Bridging the tech skills gap is a major challenge for service providers and suppliers alike today – and the challenge is two-fold when it comes to increasing the number of women in the comms space. Level 3 Communications has made it a priority to overcome both challenges by implementing several unique programs focused on building the right candidates from within – in addition to filling the funnel by supporting STEM and other education programs. During this radio show, you’ll learn about these programs from Mary Beth McGrath, SVP of Global Talent Management at Level 3, and the best ways to bridge your own skills gap so that you are motivated and equipped for change. Plus you’ll have the chance to ask Mary Beth your questions live on the air.