On the Road Gadgetry
cars.com On the Road Weekly Publication
9:36 AM EST, February 15, 2012
OnStar and PJM Interconnection, an electric transmission company, are teaming up to help make clean, renewable electrical charging easier for Chevrolet Volt owners.
Together, the firms have developed software that manages the use of renewable energy via the Volt's OnStar data connection. The software, which is still in beta testing, would notify Volt owners about time-of-use energy pricing, identify new charging locations and manage the energy put into the Volt.
For instance, the software could inform Volt owners that peak wind generation typically happens between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., making those prime charging hours. Customers can also indicate that they'd like to use renewable energy sources, and OnStar would regulate the charging by using only those sources. Furthermore, the software could track the demand for renewable energy sources by consumers, which would help companies like PJM with investment in the proper infrastructure.
The software is part of a greater effort to improve the sustainability and efficiency of our electrical grid by focusing more on information gathering, also known as smarting the grid.
-Colin Bird, Cars.com