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General Motors moves into energy storage and dispatch market

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General Motors (NYSE:GM) has announced the launch of a new energy ecosystem to address EV  needs. The launch of GM Energy reflects how the boundaries between industrial sectors are being rewritten every day.

  • The automotive giant is combining three units under the new GM Energy banner – providing charging, storage and energy on demand.
  • GM’s new energy ecosystem will help customers manage their EV charging and the potential impact of power outages.
  • The creation of a new energy unit highlights how 21st century challenges require new approaches to business, and providing new opportunities.

“The reliability of the US electrical power grid has never been more important,” said Travis Hester, vice president of GM EV Growth Operations. “GM Energy has the opportunity to help deliver sustainable energy products and services that can help mitigate the effect of power outages and provide customers with resilient and cost-effective energy management.”

By providing support for widespread EV charging and electricity storage, GM is effectively moving into the virtual power plant and demand management business.

What exactly is GM Energy?

GM Energy will consist of Ultium Home, Ultium Commercial and Ultium Charge 360, expanding business opportunities to include energy management services and drive growth beyond the core vehicle portfolio.

GM Energy’s connected product and service offerings are designed to offer cohesive energy management for home, commercial and EV customers, with solutions ranging from bi-directional charging, vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications, to stationary storage, solar products, software applications, cloud management tools, microgrid solutions, hydrogen fuel cells and more.

GM Energy’s services will also enable the sale of energy from EV and stationary storage batteries back to utilities during peak, high energy consumption periods, unlocking even more potential value for customers and increasing resiliency for the electrical grid.

“The massive scale of GM Energy’s solutions will allow us to better address current challenges with grid infrastructure, energy storage and energy management head on,” says Mark Bole, vice president and Head of V2X Battery Solutions at GM.

He continued, “By leveraging GM’s flexible technology platforms and the power of Ultium, we’re able to provide resilient and accessible energy solutions for all customers and the grid, helping to further advance the all-electric future.”

Demand management through the cloud

The central interface for GM Energy’s solutions will be GM’s Energy Services Cloud, which will house data and energy management tools, connecting customers seamlessly with residential, fleet and commercial energy assets.

Customers will be able to simply and efficiently manage their energy consumption through GM’s energy software applications. GM has already enrolled EV customers in managed charging programs through the Energy Services Cloud, with multiple utilities across four US states and growing.

New sector, new clients, new business

According to GM, a growing number of large-scale companies across the US have already signed on to receive energy solutions through GM Energy’s portfolio of products and services, and collaborate with GM to pilot and develop expanded offerings through the energy ecosystem.

Among them is an agreement with SunPower, one of the nation’s leading solar technology and energy services providers. Together, the two companies will develop and offer customers a home energy system which will consist of integrated EV and battery solutions, solar panels and home energy storage.

A primary feature of the home energy system is expected to enable drivers to deliver power to their homes with the battery in their compatible electric vehicle, designed to give them the ability to power their home’s necessities in a blackout or draw from stored energy during peak rate times.

SunPower will also become a preferred installer for the home energy system and offer customers the opportunity to add solar to their home. The home energy system will be available alongside the retail launch of the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV, expected to begin production in fall 2023.

Another initiative includes a V2H pilot project between GM Energy and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) planned to enable residential customers to use their compatible EVs along with a bi-directional charger, as backup power for essential home needs during short-term power outages.

After initial lab tests, the two companies anticipate expanding the V2H offer to a subset of residential customers within PG&E’s service area, expected to begin in 2023.

GM Energy is also working with several other companies such as Con Edison, Graniterock and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) to help deliver energy solutions to customers, while also helping to inform and advance future GM Energy offerings.


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