Honda Launches More Efficient EV Charging
Honda is testing a program for electric Fit owners that makes charging more cost-efficient, more environmentally appropriate and, perhaps most importantly, allows them to get cash rewards.
The beta program is called Honda SmartCharge. It works via the Fit EV’s telematics system and uses eMotorWerk’s JuiceNet software platform.
There is a recognition that many EV owners come home from work and plug in, and assuming that these people work during the day, they change during the early evening, which may be convenient, but because it is done at a time when there is plenty of demand on the grid, it is an expensive time to recharge.
So SmartCharge allows a change to commence when demand is low. What’s more, this new system permits determining, based on a driver’s daily schedule, the best time to charge, not only predicated on when costs are low (and/or the time when there is the most renewable energy on the grid), but when it best suits the driver’s driving pattern.
This is known as the “Demand Response Provider.” Also, the eMotorWerks software interfaces with the California Independent System Operator that allows real-time control, connecting through the cloud so that the vehicle is aware of conditions on the grid and so optimizes the charging time within the period that is beneficial to the driver. The driver will even receive push notifications as to when charging should be done.
Explains Steve Center, vice president, Connected and Environmental Business Development for American Honda, “Honda SmartCharge is uniquely able to shift electric vehicle charging in real-time without impacting the customer. We believe the program will be a game changer with its ability to create new value for our customers, reduce demand on the grid during peak load times, and help contribute to our company's goal of reducing CO2 emissions.”
In addition to doing the right thing, and saving money via charging at the best times, the driver, after working through some utility approval from eMotorWerks and charging five times according to the plan will receive a monetary reward, and there are additional rewards based on participation during two-month periods.
To use an awful pun: Even those who drive green like to get extra green.
Although all OEMs and suppliers do their utmost best to assure nothing but top-notch quality is achieved for their vehicles and systems, sometimes things simply go wrong because, well, that’s just how the Universe is.
When it comes to quality, it seems as though Ford Motor Co. is on a roll.
In her more than 30 years with General Motors, Lori Cumming has had a variety of positions within various engineering operations—from components to being the chief engineer on car lines to running the global proving ground and test labs—within the vehicle manufacturer.