On Thursday, General Motors jumped in with a call to developers to to use its plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt as a smart grid asset. GM’s OnStar service has opened up the application programming interfaces (APIs) to demand response, time-of-use rates, charging data exchange and “aggregated services” like charging spot location that it is building into all new Volt models.
Not that GM is going to open its platform to just anyone. The OnStar-utility integration work has been going on since last summer, when GM announced pilot projects with utilities including Duke, Progress and Motown’s own DTE Energy. GM didn’t name any developer partners in Thursday’s announcement, though it did note that selected developers were getting access to a proprietary API for mobile applications — something it and all its other plug-in rivals, notably the Nissan Leaf, have been working on for years as well.
GM does have a long list of partners on its connected car vision, including Tendril for home energy controllers, Comverge for demand response, Google for mobile mapping apps, and most recently, General Electric. GE’s new demand response platform on display at DistribuTECH last week included a nearby Chevy Volt as one of the loads it could power down and up remotely.