The Cadillac ELR will be Smart Grid ready as soon as it comes off the production line. Using the luxury coupe’s extended range electric vehicle technology combined with OnStar’s cloud-based connection, the ELR will be able to communicate with the electric grid and potentially save energy.
ELR owners will have access to the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App, which in addition to allowing drivers to check their vehicle’s operating systems and send remote commands, gives them access to electric vehicle specific functions. The EV-tailored app shows owners their vehicle’s current state of charge, electric range, electric miles driven and eMPG, or equivalency of electric miles per gallon.
The RemoteLink Mobile App also will allow ELR owners to control and schedule vehicle charging, including an option to charge during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lowest.
In addition to the RemoteLink app available today, OnStar is an enabler for solutions that may benefit drivers in the future.
“While RemoteLink is really our first Smart Grid service to be available for consumers, the same connection we use to enable the app’s EV functions can be used to open the door for more energy cost and load control benefits,” said Russ Eling, manager, Smart Grid and EV Services, General Motors.
OnStar has four unique Smart Grid APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces, that utilities and third-party companies can work with to develop real-world solutions for the ELR:
- Demand response – This future service connects utilities to companies that have intelligent energy management products, allowing OnStar to manage energy use for ELR customers who opt in for the service. Benefits include saving money on energy costs and enabling more efficient use of the electric grid.
- Time-of-Use rates – OnStar can receive dynamic time-of-use pricing from utilities and notify ELR owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners would be able to use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower-rate periods.
- Charging data – OnStar can send and receive EV data including location-based EV data that identifies charging locations and determines potential load scenarios.
- Aggregated services – This solution allows electric service providers to manage the charging of participating vehicles in a given geographic area, with customer consent. This includes the ability to control charging on a large amount of EVs simultaneously. These services could potentially result in a more efficient use of clean energy.
An example of an aggregated service solution would be charging with renewable energy. A regional transmission organization would send OnStar a signal letting it know that renewable energy is available on the electric grid. OnStar then uses this signal to manage the charging of one or multiple EVs in order to utilize the available renewable energy.
OnStar recently partnered with TimberRock Energy Solutions, Inc. using Demand Response to aid with TimberRock’s ability to store and charge with solar energy. OnStar’s Smart Grid research is made possible by the U.S. Department of Energy.
ELR owners will get access to OnStar services like Turn-by-Turn Navigation, Hands-Free Calling, Vehicle Diagnostics, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Assistance.
OnStar’s premium Directions & Connection package comes standard on the Cadillac ELR for one year.