New program would have electric cars power homes in California

Auto giant General Motors announced a pilot program Tuesday in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric company that would allow electric cars to be used to power homes in PG&E’s service area.

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In a news release announcing the partnership, the companies said the two will work together to hopefully test the first vehicle-to-home capable electric vehicle and charger by summer 2022. The companies said the goal is to open the program to larger customer trials by the end of 2022, The Detroit Free Press reported.

“We are really excited about this innovative collaboration with GM. Imagine a future where everyone is driving an electric vehicle – and where that EV serves as a backup power option at home and more broadly as a resource for the grid. Not only is this a huge advancement for electric reliability and climate resiliency, it’s yet another advantage of clean-powered EVs, which are so important in our collective battle against climate change,” said Patti Poppe, CEO of PG&E Corporation.

The program makes use of bidirectional charging, which allows an electric vehicle to both take in power from a grid to charge its battery, while also sending power from the vehicle into the home or business to power that as well, or even sending energy back into the grid, The Detroit Free Press reported.

The pilot program will focus on the electric vehicles GM already had in production: the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup and the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt, The Detroit Free Press reported.

Ford Motor Company is also looking to offer its customers the opportunity to power their homes with a vehicle. In February, the company announced a partnership with Sunrun, a solar company, to create the F-150 Lightning pickup. The new truck promises to automatically power your home if the power grid goes down, with the ability to power a home for up to three days.