GM’s New GM Energy division is being set up to help customers control their energy and charging needs but it could also help them better plan their charging during power outages. GM Energy expects to have major home energy solutions available by the time the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV launches in late 2023. The new company will also oversee Ultium Home, Ultium Commercial and Ultium Charge 360. The new company will also market Ultium energy products to other businesses. As we reported earlier, GM Defense will provide Ultium batteries to the Pentagon’s Innovation unit to possibly power defense vehicles. We have also reported on GM supplying its Ultium batteries to power boats, planes and trains.
GM Energy to Focus on Creative EV Energy Solutions
GM Energy will offer customers energy management for home, commercial and EV customers. Some of the possible solutions include bi-directional charging, vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) charging. That means that the vehicles could theoretically power homes or even return energy to the grid if need be. GM Energy will also manage stationary storage, solar products, software applications, cloud management tools, microgrid solutions, hydrogen fuel cells and more. GM Energy’s services will also enable the sale of energy from EV and stationary storage batteries back to utilities during peak, high energy consumption periods, unlocking even more potential value for customers and increasing resiliency for the electrical grid. Offering customers to store energy and charge even when the grid is down could be a huge advantage.
“The reliability of the U.S. electrical power grid has never been more important," said Travis Hester, vice president of GM EV Growth Operations. “GM Energy has the opportunity to help deliver sustainable energy products and services that can help mitigate the effect of power outages and provide customers with resilient and cost-effective energy management.”
GM Cooperating with Other Major Companies to Find Energy Solutions
GM says that a growing number of large-scale companies across the U.S. have already signed on to receive energy solutions through GM Energy’s portfolio of products and services.
GM’s Energy Services Cloud will store data and energy management tools allowing customers to connect with residential, fleet and commercial energy. Customers will be able to manage their energy consumption through GM’s energy software. GM has already enrolled EV customers in managed charging programs through the Energy Services Cloud, with multiple utilities across four U.S. states and growing.
SunPower, one of the nation’s leading solar technology and energy services providers, has already agreed to work with GM Energy to develop and offer customers a home energy system using EV and battery solutions, solar panels and home energy storage. A primary feature of the home energy system is expected to enable drivers to deliver power to their homes with the battery in their compatible electric vehicle, designed to give them the ability to power their home’s necessities in a blackout or draw from stored energy during peak rate times. SunPower will also become a preferred installer for the home energy system and offer customers the opportunity to add solar to their home. The home energy system will be available when the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV launches. The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado is expected to begin production in fall 2023.
Another initiative includes a V2H pilot project between GM Energy and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). This would allow residential customers to use their compatible EVs with a bi-directional charger, as backup power for essential home needs during short-term power outages. We reported on this plan in March of 2022. After initial lab tests, the two companies anticipate expanding the V2H offer to some residential customers within PG&E’s service area in 2023.
GM Energy to Partner With Companies Nationwide
GM Energy is also working with other companies such as Con Edison, Graniterock and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) to help deliver energy solutions to customers from GM Energy.
“GM Energy’s mission is to offer customers access to a full suite of energy products and services, including solutions beyond the vehicle, accelerating the seamless transition to an all-electric future,” said Hester. “With the expansion of our enterprise business through GM Energy and one of the most comprehensive portfolios of energy management products and services available, we will help to reduce the barriers of entry for sustainable power and further accelerate the mass adoption of EVs.”
“The massive scale of GM Energy’s solutions will allow us to better address current challenges with grid infrastructure, energy storage and energy management head on,” says Mark Bole, vice president and Head of V2X Battery Solutions at GM. “By leveraging GM’s flexible technology platforms and the power of Ultium, we’re able to provide resilient and accessible energy solutions for all customers and the grid, helping to further advance the all-electric future.”
There was a time when GM wanted to position itself as a software company that also sold vehicles. The automaker has now evolved to the point that not only does it market its software to other business, but it will provide energy solutions on a large scale, as well.
Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist and has decades of experience specializing in automotive news analysis. She covered the Detroit Three for more than twenty years for the ABC affiliate, in Detroit. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up, in Wisconsin.
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