Vehicles going electric will not only change the way people travel, it is also likely to open up a whole new world of possibilities for energy use. We're only at the beginning of the transition, but there are already a lot of exciting things on the horizon.
One is the ability ofr owners of electric vehicles to use them to power their home. This is already the case with the Ford F-150 Hybrid, and the possibilities with the Lightning electric version, expected later this year, will be even greater.
As you might guess, General Motors (GM) doesn't want to be left behind. The American auto giant recently announced a collaboration with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), as part of which the two companies will test the use of GM's electric vehicles as home energy sources, all within PG&E's California service area.
The energy provider serves 16 million people in the Northern and Central parts of the largest American state. GM added, however, that the goal is to expand the capacity nationwide. And, we're guessing, to the entire continent as well.
"GM's collaboration with PG&E further expands our electrification strategy, demonstrating that our electric vehicles are reliable mobile power sources. Our teams are working to quickly scale up this pilot and bring two-way charging technology to our customers," GM CEO Mary Barra said via a statement.
GM expects more than 1 million of its electric vehicles to be on the road in North America by the end of 2025. And as they go on to multiply, so will the technology.
The pilot project begins this summer. The goal is simple: to test whether the two-way capability (receiving and sending energy) of the vehicles is capable of safely supplying the basic needs of a properly equipped home.
Of course, such a capability can be more than beneficial in the event of prolonged power outages. We saw this in Texas in February 2021 when Ford F-150 Hybrids were used to power entire homes. In California, when there are wildfires, power outages are often long, so this innovation is of great interest to the region.
The pilot project, which will first be implemented in San Francisco, where PG&E is based, will use the new GMC Hummer EV, as well as the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt, which is scheduled to go back into production in early April. Testing will begin in the lab and then be expanded to a limited number of vehicles and homes.