And Now A Car That Knows When To Recharge

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[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

IBM has teamed with American Honda Motor and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) on a pilot project that will allow communication between electric vehicles (EVs) and the power grid. The project will demonstrate and test an electric vehicle’s ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle’s battery state.

The project combines grid and vehicle data to create an individualized charging plan for Honda’s Fit EV battery electric vehicles (BEV), using IBM’s cloud based software platform. By utilizing the existing in-vehicle communications system in the Honda Fit EV, the electric vehicle can interact with utilities and the grid, creating a direct channel for sending and receiving usage information that could improve local grid management.

Once plugged into a charge post, the Honda Fit EV initiates a charge request via the vehicles telematics system, an integrated telecommunication application that is often used for navigation. This request is sent to IBM’s Electric Vehicle Enablement Platform where vehicle data such as battery state and grid data received from PG&E, is combined to create an optimized charge schedule, which is then communicated back to the vehicle. Using this aggregated data, the vehicle has the intelligence to charge to the level that is needed while factoring any current grid constraints.

Additionally, the IBM EV platform can collate historical EV charging data and create a profile that can be used to forecast the location and duration of EV charge loads.

IBM is involved in more than 150 smart grid engagements around the world, in both mature and emerging markets.

[Image Courtesy: Honda]

The energy requirements for electric vehicles may challenge the current power grid, as plug-in vehicle counts continue to grow to an expected 2.9 million worldwide by 2017.