BMW Testing 'Demand Charging'

Joins EPRI, other automakers on technology to manage when to charge plug-in EVs

WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. -- The BMW Group said that it will begin testing an electric-vehicle (EV) integration platform developed by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), designed to help utilities manage when plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) are charged, a process known as demand charging.

BMW electric vehicles EVs (CSP Daily News / Conve nience Stores / Gas Stations)

This would make it possible for utilities to schedule electric-vehicle charging for those times during the day when demand for electricity is relatively low, which could save BMW "i drivers" money while charging.

EPRI will work with eight automakers and 15 utility providers across the United States to develop an interface that, in addition to scheduling of charging would also, synchronize EV charging with renewable energy when available and take advantage of real-time changes in the price of electricity in order to lower the cost of charging.

This collaboration led by EPRI will enable utilities, automobile manufacturers and other service providers to test the viability of communication standards already set by organizations including the Society of Automotive Engineers, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Open Automated Demand Response Alliance for use by electric vehicles.

"This collaboration will make it easier for [EV] drivers to save money by enabling the utility to schedule charging for times during the day when demand for electricity is relatively low," said Cliff Fietzek, manager of the BMW Connected eMobility Group, Woodcliff Lake, N.J. "In addition to this collaboration, BMW is developing technology that will allow our customers to easily control when and how their cars charge, and also to seamlessly integrate with home solar power generation and energy management systems."

Electric utilities and regional transmission organizations participating in the platform development and demonstration project include DTE Energy Company, Duke Energy, PJM Interconnection LLC, CenterPoint Energy, Inc., Southern Company, Northeast Utilities, Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Commonwealth Edison, TVA, Manitoba Hydro, Austin Energy, ConEd and CPS Energy.

Also working with BMW is IPKeys Technologies, a strategic partner in the Federal Government, Commercial and Energy sectors with expertise in the development, integration, and deployment of Demand-Response technology and a board member of the OpenADR Alliance.

By joining in the EPRI Open-Grid platform pilot program, BMW builds on a series of recent innovations designed to drive wide-spread market adoption of electric vehicles. The BMW Smart Charging App for mobile devices was announced in June 2014 following the recent launch of the BMW i3 electric vehicle. The BMW Smart Charging App makes it possible for BMW i customers to automatically identify the best rates and times for charging their electric vehicles at home.

BMW is the first automotive manufacturer to offer this automated and fully integrated functionality. The Smart Charging App will be available to all BMW i3 and BMW i8 customers in the United States in 2015.

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