PG&E and General Motors Collaborate on Pilot to Reimagine Use of Electric Vehicles as Backup Power Sources for Customers
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and DETROIT, Mich. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and General Motors (GM) today announced a breakthrough collaboration to pilot the use of GM electric vehicles (EVs) as on-demand power sources for homes in PG&E’s service area.
PG&E and GM will test vehicles with cutting-edge bidirectional charging technology that can help safely power the essential needs of a properly equipped home. EVs play a critical role in achieving California’s goals for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and already provide customers with many benefits. Bidirectional charging capabilities add even further value by improving electric resiliency and reliability.
“We are really excited about this innovative collaboration with GM. Imagine a future where everyone is driving an electric vehicle—and where that EV serves as a backup power option at home and more broadly as a resource for the grid. Not only is this a huge advancement for electric reliability and climate resiliency, it’s yet another advantage of clean-powered EVs, which are so important in our collective battle against climate change,” said PG&E Corporation CEO Patti Poppe.
By the end of 2025, GM will have more than 1 million units of EV capacity in North America to respond to growing demand. The company’s Ultium Platform, a combined EV architecture and propulsion system, enables EVs at scale, for every lifestyle and price point.
“GM’s collaboration with PG&E further expands our electrification strategy, demonstrating our EVs as reliable mobile sources of power. Our teams are working to rapidly scale this pilot and bring bidirectional charging technology to our customers,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra.
How the Pilot Will Work
PG&E and GM aim to test the pilot’s first vehicle-to-home capable EV and charger by summer 2022. The pilot will include the use of bidirectional hardware coupled with software-defined communications protocols that will enable power to flow from a charged EV into a customer’s home, automatically coordinating between the EV, home, and PG&E’s electric supply. The pilot will include multiple GM EVs.
Following lab testing, PG&E and GM plan to test vehicle-to-home interconnection allowing a small subset of customers’ homes to safely receive power from the EV when power stops flowing from the electric grid. Through this field demonstration, PG&E and GM aim to develop a user-friendly vehicle-to-home customer experience for this new technology. Both teams are working quickly to scale the pilot with the goal of opening larger customer trials by the end of 2022.
Supporting EV Adoption in California
Increasing EV adoption can play a critical role in supporting California’s goals to reduce emissions, as transportation is the single largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the state, contributing nearly 40%. Passenger vehicles alone account for nearly 29% of the state’s total emissions. By 2035, 100% of California sales of new passenger cars and trucks will have zero tailpipe-emissions.
One in five EVs in the country are on the road in PG&E’s service area of Northern and Central California, where customers are often early adopters of new clean energy technologies. The electricity fueling EVs in California comes from one of the cleanest energy mixes in the country. PG&E estimates that 93% of its customers’ electricity in 2021 came from greenhouse gas-free resources.
PG&E supports its customers’ EV adoption. Through its EV charging infrastructure programs, PG&E helps to reduce one of the biggest barriers to EV adoption—the lack of available places to charge. PG&E helps increase access to EV chargers for customers across light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles through its EV Charge Network, EV Fleet and EV Fast Charge programs.
Additionally, PG&E offers electric rate plans tailored for EVs drivers and provides tools such as PG&E’s EV Savings Calculator and Fleet Calculator (ev.pge.com and fleets.pge.com) to help customers understand costs when deciding whether to use an EV.
For more information, visit pge.com/ev.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
General Motors (NYSE:GM) is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at https://www.gm.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements about the beliefs, expectations, estimates, future plans and strategies of PG&E Corporation and PG&E, including but not limited to PG&E’s partnership with GM and PG&E’s EV programs. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions, which management believes are reasonable, and on information currently available to management, but are necessarily subject to various risks and uncertainties. In addition to the risk that these assumptions prove to be inaccurate, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements include factors disclosed in PG&E Corporation’s and PG&E’s joint annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and other reports filed with the SEC, which are available on PG&E Corporation’s website at www.pgecorp.com and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. PG&E Corporation and PG&E undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether due to new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by law.