Your BMW is the Answer to Grid Instability

Image courtesy of BMWblog.com

Image courtesy of BMWblog.com

Electric vehicles are being introduced with all the bells and whistles: impeccable safety features, back-up cameras, autopilot, and of course, remarkable efficiency.  But there is one additional feature that will not only impress your friends, it will help to renovate the modern electric grid into a stable network. (Oh, and it’ll also ease the pain of any chunky car payments you may have.)

Tell Me More!

BMW announced its i ChargeForward Program at the Consumer Electronics Show this week, the perfect time and place to introduce this new technology.  The BMW Group is partnering with Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to roll out the pilot program to up to 100 BMW i3 drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“Working with a select group of BMW i3 drivers, BMW i ChargeForward will demonstrate how intelligent management of electric vehicle charging can contribute to improved electric power grid efficiency while reducing total cost of electric vehicle ownership,” stated the car manufacturing conglomerate.

How Does it Work?

Participants of this program will work with the California utility to ensure a stable and steady flow of electricity to the grid, similar to a demand response program.  When the electric grid becomes overloaded, and PG&E is in need of supplemental energy, participants will be asked to delay charging their vehicle.  A text message will be sent alerting them that their vehicle will stop charging for one hour or less, depending on how critical the situation is.  The temporary suspension of charging these 100 electric vehicles translates into reduced load on the grid.  An anticipated 100 kilowatts of electric demand are expected to be available during an “event.”

Participation is not mandatory, but compensation will be based on performance.  Drivers will receive $1,000 in the beginning, and up to an additional $540 at the end of the program.


The pilot program will run from July 2015 to December 2016, and BMW will begin accepting applications mid-January.  Click here to sign up for a notification when the qualification survey becomes available.

So what do you think?  Would you participate in a program like this?  Is there enough incentive to participate?  Would you like to see added benefits?  Let us know in the comments section below.  We love to hear from our readers!



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How Demand Response Will Shape the Future of Energy

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