In an announcement, BMW, Ford, and Honda said they had agreed to create ChargeScape. This new, equally-owned business will develop a solitary platform that connects electric utilities, automakers, and interested users of EVs. ChargeScape will enable EV customers to earn financial benefits through various managed charging and energy-sharing services never before possible with conventional gasoline-powered vehicles, benefiting both EV customers and the electric utility industry in the U.S. and Canada. ChargeScape is anticipated to begin operations early next year, and the transaction’s closure and subsequent formation are subject to regulatory approvals.
ChargeScape’s single platform will do away with the need for separate integrations between each automotive brand and each electric utility, building on years of OVGIP cross-industry collaboration. Electric utilities will now have access to EV battery energy from a large pool of EVs. Participating EV consumers can profit financially through customizable and regulated schedules by charging at “grid-friendly” times. When using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications, EV owners will soon have the chance to have an even more significant influence by supplying the grid with energy during periods of peak demand.
The initiative’s creation coincides with a rapid uptick in infrastructure and EV sales, creating new opportunities to address electric grid issues. There will be a greater need for electricity from utilities when more EVs are on the road. To improve grid resilience and prepare for the arrival of V2G capabilities that will be advantageous to both EV users and electric utilities, ChargeScape seeks to offer energy management services.
More EV customers will benefit from managed charging thanks to ChargeScape and the work done under OVGIP. It can also save utilities money on marketing and outreach efforts to reach their unique customer bases. The direct, multi-channel communication that BMW, Ford, and Honda have with their EV consumers addresses a significant issue for utilities, who ordinarily lack knowledge of or a practical method for locating EV customers within their service area.