BMW, Ford and Honda create EV charging platform

  • September 18, 2023
  • William Payne

BMW, Ford and American Honda together are creating a single platform connecting electric utilities, automakers and EV customers. The new platform will provide managed energy services and build on years of cross-industry research around the Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform (OVGIP).

The new platform will be owned jointly by the three companies, and is expected to be operational early next year.

ChargeScape’s platform will give electric utilities access to EV battery energy across a pool of EVs. Participating EV customers will have the potential to earn financial benefits by charging at “grid-friendly” times through flexible and managed schedules. Electric vehicle customers will also eventually have the opportunity for even more significant impact by sharing the energy stored in their EV batteries with the grid during times of peak demand through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications.

ChargeScape will enable the smart use of plugged-in EV batteries by securely providing energy data to electric utilities and system operators like aggregated demand response, alignment of charging and EV battery utilisation with off-peak, low-cost hours and the availability of high renewable energy. Due to integration with participating automakers and anticipated levels of EV customer enrolment, energy services are expected to be a cost-efficient, operational benefit for electric utilities.

ChargeScape aims to provide energy management services to help support grid resiliency while looking ahead to the future of V2G capabilities that will benefit both EV customers and electric utilities. ChargeScape will also aim to play a role in helping decarbonise the grid.

The new company can help cut costs for electric utilities. The new platform can provide benefits of managed charging to greater numbers of EV customers. As the founding owners, BMW, Ford and American Honda have multi-channel communication with their EV customers, they can provide direct connection for utilities of EV customers in their service territory.

Utilising automaker telematics, ChargeScape aims to provide managed charge scheduling through vehicle connectivity without requiring Wi-Fi-enabled charging stations. This will support the many EV customers who do not use “smart” chargers at home, as their EVs would otherwise be unreachable for grid services.

According to the three companies, the new company will reduce EV customers’ personal carbon footprints by utilising electricity that comes from more readily available renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar. While seamless integration between EV customers and utilities will be key to energy management success, participating EV customers will always remain in control of their charging and energy decisions.

“Electric grid reliability and sustainability are the foundation for an EV powered future,” said Thomas Ruemenapp, Vice President, Engineering, BMW of North America, LLC. “ChargeScape aims to accelerate the expansion of smart charging and vehicle-to-everything solutions all over the country, while increasing customer benefits, supporting the stability of the grid and helping to maximise renewable energy usage. We’re proud to be a founding member of ChargeScape and are looking forward to the opportunities this collaboration will create.”

“Electric vehicles are unlocking entirely new benefits for customers that can save them money while supporting grid resiliency and increase the use of clean, renewable energy,” said Bill Crider, global head of charging and energy services, Ford Motor Company. “ChargeScape will help accelerate the true potential of the EV revolution by providing significant benefits to both utilities and EV customers through smart vehicle-to-grid services.”

“As Honda seeks to achieve our global goal of carbon neutrality, we are counting on this platform to create new value for our customers by connecting EVs to electric utilities, strengthening grid resources and reducing CO2 emissions,” said Jay Joseph, vice president of Sustainability & Business Development, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With automakers accelerating toward the electrified future, we must find solutions like ChargeScape that enable all stakeholders to work together for the good of our customers, society and our industry by enabling greater use of renewable energy for and from mobility.”