Tesla, PG&E Team to Advance Remote Car Charging

Tesla, PG&E Team to Advance Remote Car Charging

Tesla Motors and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. will join forces to explore vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.

PG&E and Tesla, an electric car manufacturer, will equip a demonstration roadster with intelligent charging technology, as well as monitoring equipment at Tesla's San Carlos, Calif., location.

The partners will focus on smart charging, which allows remote control of electric vehicles connected to the power grid. It turns electric vehicles and plug-in electric hybrids into remotely-controllable energy storage systems.

"We are focusing our initial V2G implementation on smart charging," said JB Straubel, Tesla Motors's chief technology officer. "Smart charging is a form of V2G in which the vehicle does not provide power back to the grid. Instead, the vehicle charging rate is controlled remotely in order to support the operation of the grid or to best match load to the availability of intermittent renewable energy resources such as wind and solar.

"Tesla Motors' goal in developing V2G is to eventually provide our customers with an option that could reduce their cost of electricity for vehicle charging while supporting greater penetration of renewable energy on the grid."

Similar methods are performed by power plants to balance electricity generation and load, the companies said. If successful, smart charging will be done on a wider scale and will interface with PG&E’s SmartMeter technology, which continuously monitors meters to reward customers who voluntarily use less electricity during critical peaks.

PG&E also is working with Tesla to install charging stations in customers’ homes and businesses.