honda fitWhen it comes to staying connected, IBM, American Honda Motor Co. and Pacific Gas and Electric Company are pioneering a new frontier – in the green that is.  

The three companies have teamed up for a new pilot project that will allow communication between electric vehicles (EVs) and the power grid as plug-in vehicle counts continue to grow to an expected 2.9 million worldwide by 2017.  

The project aims to demonstrate and test an EV’s ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle’s battery state. 

With visibility into charging patterns, energy providers will have the ability to more effectively manage charging during peak hours and create consumer-friendly programs to encourage electric vehicle adoption.

So what does all that really mean?

In a nutshell, if this EV thing really takes off like a lot of people expect, we’ll need to make sure there’s enough power to go around.

The joint Honda project has the potential to ease the infrastructure and consumer concerns associated with the mass adoption of EVs, by adding another layer of agility to the EV charging process. 

The idea is to help make charging seamless for consumers, while ensuring the electricity source is reliable and the infrastructure is stable.

For example, once plugged into a charge post, a Honda Fit EV will initiate a charge request via the vehicles telematics system, an integrated telecommunication application that is often used for navigation. 

The request is then 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 a charging schedule, which is then communicated back to the vehicle in seconds. 

Using this aggregated data, the vehicle has the intelligence to charge to the level that is needed while factoring any current grid constraints.

Sounds a lot like a scene from the movie “Tron,” right?

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