ChargeScape: Linking Utilities, OEMs, and EV Drivers for Efficient Charging

BMW, Ford, and Honda have joined forces to establish a new company called ChargeScape, aiming to enhance energy management in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. The venture seeks to create an Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform (OVGIP) that connects electric utilities, automakers, and EV customers, thereby promoting more efficient charging and grid services. By enabling utility providers in Canada and the U.S. to access battery energy and data from EVs connected to the grid, ChargeScape aims to unlock new benefits for both customers and the energy grid.

Ford Motor Co.’s global head of charging and energy services, Bill Crider, stated that electric vehicles offer customers the opportunity to save money, support grid resiliency, and increase the use of clean, renewable energy. ChargeScape plans to accelerate the EV revolution by delivering significant advantages to utilities and EV customers through smart vehicle-to-grid services. At present, no utility providers are engaged in this initiative, but if they choose to participate, the sharing of demand responses, charging, EV battery utilization, and renewable energy data can help them manage the grid more effectively and economically.

Participating EV owners will have the opportunity to receive financial rewards by charging their vehicles during non-peak times. Furthermore, depending on their EV’s capabilities, they may be able to share power with the grid during peak demand periods through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. It is important to note that while EV customers and utilities must integrate seamlessly for energy management success, ChargeScape emphasizes that participating EV customers will always maintain control over their charging and energy decisions.

ChargeScape’s primary objective is to create a more sustainable power grid. By offering charging incentives to enrolled EV customers and collecting data on their charging behaviors and locations, ChargeScape simplifies outreach costs for utilities looking to identify EV customers. The platform also enables the utilization of electricity generated from renewable sources like wind or solar power, reducing the environmental impact of EVs. Additionally, ChargeScape plans to leverage telematics technology built into EVs to schedule charging, eliminating the need for Wi-Fi-enabled charging stations. This feature allows EV owners without “smart” chargers at home to participate fully.

Pending regulatory approvals, ChargeScape aims to commence operations in early 2024. The founding companies, BMW, Ford, and Honda, are open to welcoming other car manufacturers to join the venture in the future.

– Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform (OVGIP): A platform that connects electric utilities, automakers, and EV customers to enhance the efficiency of charging and grid services.
– Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G): A technology that enables electric vehicles to supply power back to the grid during peak demand periods.
– Telematics: Involves the integrated use of telecommunications and informatics to send, receive, and store information relating to remote objects, such as vehicles.

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