DETROIT (Globe Newswire) — DTE Energy announced that BMW has joined General Motors and Ford Motor Company in the second year of the DTE Smart Charge program, a collective, clean energy vision of optimizing Electric Vehicle charging to help reduce stress on the energy grid.
DTE Smart Charge, a demand response program, is a partnership of DTE, automakers, and EV owners, which aims to reduce electricity use during periods of high demand.
DTE, Michigan’s largest energy company and a leader in clean energy, is one of only a few energy companies in the U.S. to implement this type of program. It utilizes EV charge management with telematics, which connects an onboard vehicle module with the automaker’s back office to schedule and optimize the vehicle’s charging times.
“We are excited to bring BMW into this collaborative pilot,” said John Boladian, director of Energy Efficiency at DTE. “Its participation will help us further the DTE Smart Charge program by providing valuable data to ensure our grid can continue to meet the charging needs and electric demands of our customers now and into the future. It is all a part of our goal of providing reliable energy across our service territory, while continuing to be a leader in clean energy.”
The DTE Smart Charge program will monitor EV participants’ charging patterns and peak energy usage. The automakers and DTE will temporarily pause charging of enrolled vehicles during peak energy times, which are referred to as events. Participants can opt out of events at any time through their automakers’ app. These combined efforts between DTE, automakers and participating EV owners will help improve electric service reliability in the future as EV adoption increases across Michigan.
Smart Charge leverages the Open Vehicle Grid Integrated Platform (OVGIP) which enables the management of EV charging from multiple automakers in a grid-friendly and EV driver-centric manner. A combined initiative between the energy and automotive industries, OVGIP allows energy companies to address the entire electric vehicle ecosystem through a single, unified, and open interface. It also provides benefits to EV owners by allowing them to take advantage of utility incentives through improved grid capacity utilization without inconveniencing the EV driver’s schedule.
“Our commitment to sustainability is the foundation to all aspects of our business,” said Christian Voigt, e-Mobility Strategy Manager, BMW of North America. “The collaboration with DTE allows us to bring ChargeForward to our customers in the Midwest and to further incentivize the use of clean energy across the country. By participating in the smart charging program with DTE, our customers play an active role in making the grid more reliable and more sustainable.”
DTE is looking to expand the program from its 2021 participants of 370 EV owners up to 1,000 who have the potential to earn $100 in gift cards depending on their enrollment throughout the program. This initiative is open to all Michigan residents who have a qualifying EV and receive residential electric service from DTE. The initial phase of Smart Charge runs from May 2022 through May 2023.
EV owners can sign up to participate in and take advantage of program benefits through their respective vehicle manufacturer:
- General Motors – https://smartcharging.chevrolet.com
- Ford Motor Company – https://www.ford.com/grid/dte
- BMW – www.bmwchargeforward.com
In the 2021 program, DTE was able to dispatch 31 demand response events from May through December to test the effectiveness of pausing EV charging for future grid events. Over the course of these events, DTE saw a reduction of 1.7 MWh in avoided energy consumption from the enrolled EVs. That’s enough energy to power an average Michigan home for nearly 60 days.
“As the mass adoption of electric vehicles accelerates, ensuring that our electric grid is prepared to handle their charging needs is critical,” said Matt Stover, Ford global director of charging and energy services. “Our work with DTE is focused on smartly managing EV charging without inconveniencing customers, easing the burden on the grid while enabling people to earn money from their enrollment and participation, so we’re excited to continue collaborating with them on the next stage of this pilot.”
General Motors also shares in a zero-carbon emissions vision.
“We are committed to an all-electric, zero-emissions future and believe the best way to achieve that is by putting everyone in an EV,” said Ty Jagerson, Lead of V2X at General Motors. “We’re excited to offer GM’s EV owners access to the DTE Smart Charge program, which further expands our electrification strategy, and demonstrates how our EVs can help improve the reliability of the power grid.”
As adoption of electric vehicle ownership and use increases, DTE will continue to be a leader in researching ways to blend our energy management expertise with those of leading automakers and other innovative companies to move closer toward the company’s goal of reducing carbon emissions.