The Volt will be primarily charged at home, although there is certain to be demand for public charging outlets for people who wish to charge at work and for those who live in apartments.
The Volt will have some capacity to regulate its charging function, but more advanced features are expected to be coming in future generations.
I had the chance to ask Britta Gross who is GM’s direct of infrastructure some questions about this.
Are you involved in what technology will actually be in the Gen-1 Volts to communicate with the grid?
There will be some capability in the first generation volts to key in charging preferences. It won’t have all the smarts and broad capability of future generations. But it will have the smarts for you to be able to go into the vehicle and key in, for example, that you prefer to be charged after 7PM at night because you know the rates will be lower.
I am also working on how to (facilitate) that relationship between the utility companies and the new Volt buyers so they will be knowledgeable about their particular utility company’s best off-peak rates. We’re setting up systems now for utility companies to communicate with their customers about this.
So you may come home at 6 PM and plug-in the car, but your preferences are for charging to begin at midnight, and so your car will delay charging until then.
And, for example, if there is a different situation say for two weeks you need to be charged right away, let’s say your wife is pregnant, then you could override it.
Will the Gen-1 Volt communicate to the utility companies?
We’re looking at a lot of studies with OnStar right now, but there are other ways to do it. Through SAE and EPRI and our relationships with the utilities, we are very actively engaged in how we would communicate with the vehicle.
There are wireless means already, such as Zigbee, we’d have to have a chip on the vehicle that allows wireless communication about the charging and what’s happening. There are many ways out there to do this, we are looking through all of them to figure out what is best for consumers.
Will the Gen-1 Volt have something in it along these lines?
Well Gen 1 is a little different. The Zigbee chips aren’t even available today. These are nice to haves, but not must to haves. Even if the chip were available it would have to go through our very rigorous validation process which takes at least a year.
This entry was posted on Monday, May 11th, 2009 at 5:44 am and is filed under Charging, Features, Grid. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.