BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced that they have entered into an agreement to create ChargeScape, LLC, a new equally-owned company that will create a single, cost-effective platform connecting electric utilities, automakers and interested electric vehicle customers. Benefiting both EV customers and the electric utility industry in the U.S. and Canada, ChargeScape will unlock entirely new value that EVs can provide to the electric grid, while enabling EV customers to earn financial benefits through a variety of managed charging and energy-sharing services never before possible with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. The closing of the transaction and subsequent formation of ChargeScape is pending regulatory approvals, with the company expected to be operational early next year.
Building on years of OVGIP cross-industry collaboration, ChargeScape's single platform will eliminate the need for individual integrations between each automotive brand and each electric utility. ChargeScape's platform will give electric utilities access to EV battery energy across a wide pool of EVs. Participating EV customers will have the potential to earn financial benefits by charging at “grid-friendly" times through flexible and managed schedules. Electric vehicle customers will also eventually have the opportunity for even more significant impact by sharing the energy stored in their EV batteries with the grid during times of peak demand through vehicle-to-grid (V2G) applications.
ChargeScape will enable the smart use of plugged-in EV batteries by securely providing energy data to electric utilities and system operators like aggregated demand response, alignment of charging and EV battery utilization with off-peak, low-cost hours and the availability of high renewable energy. Due to the efficient integration with participating automakers and the anticipation of high levels of EV customer enrollment, these energy services are expected to be a cost-efficient, operational benefit for electric utilities.
Transformational Opportunity for EV Customers and Electric Utilities
The development of this project comes at a time when electric vehicle sales and infrastructure growth are ramping up quickly, bringing new opportunities to address challenges for the electric grid. More EVs on the road means increased electricity demand on utilities to charge them. ChargeScape aims to provide energy management services to help support grid resiliency while looking ahead to the future of V2G capabilities that will benefit both EV customers and electric utilities.
Additionally, ChargeScape will play a role in helping to decarbonize the grid. The company's efforts will reduce EV customers' personal carbon footprints by utilizing electricity that comes from more readily available renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar. While seamless integration between EV customers and utilities will be key to energy management success, participating EV customers will always remain in control of their charging and energy decisions.
“Electric grid reliability and sustainability are the foundation for an EV powered future," said Thomas Ruemenapp, Vice President, Engineering, BMW of North America, LLC. “ChargeScape aims to accelerate the expansion of smart charging and vehicle-to-everything solutions all over the country, while increasing customer benefits, supporting the stability of the grid and helping to maximize renewable energy usage. We're proud to be a founding member of ChargeScape and are looking forward to the opportunities this collaboration will create."
“Electric vehicles are unlocking entirely new benefits for customers that can save them money while supporting grid resiliency and increase the use of clean, renewable energy," said Bill Crider, global head of charging and energy services, Ford Motor Company. “ChargeScape will help accelerate the true potential of the EV revolution by providing significant benefits to both utilities and EV customers through smart vehicle-to-grid services."
“As Honda seeks to achieve our global goal of carbon neutrality, we are counting on this platform to create new value for our customers by connecting EVs to electric utilities, strengthening grid resources and reducing CO2 emissions," said Jay Joseph, vice president of Sustainability & Business Development, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “With automakers accelerating toward the electrified future, we must find solutions like ChargeScape that enable all stakeholders to work together for the good of our customers, society and our industry by enabling greater use of renewable energy for and from mobility."
Benefits of Working Together
ChargeScape, along with the work done to date through OVGIP, will bring managed charging benefits to more EV customers and can eliminate marketing and outreach costs for utilities trying to reach their individual customer bases. BMW Group, Ford Motor Company and American Honda have direct, multi-channel communication with their EV customers, solving a central problem for utilities that typically do not know or have an easy and cost-effective way to identify the EV customers in their service territory.
Additionally, by leveraging automaker telematics, ChargeScape intends to provide managed charge scheduling through vehicle connectivity without requiring Wi-Fi-enabled charging stations. This will support the many EV customers who do not use “smart" chargers at home, as their EVs would otherwise be unreachable for grid services.
The three founding members welcome other automakers to join in and fully unlock opportunities provided by ChargeScape's grid service offerings once the company is fully operational.
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BMW Group In America
BMW (US) Holding, Corp. is the shareholder of BMW of North America, LLC, which has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars; DesignWorks/USA.Inc, a strategic design consultancy based in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is the BMW Group global center of competence for BMW X models and manufactures the X3, X4, X5, X6 and X7 Sports Activity Vehicles as well as the BMW XM. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 349 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers,147 BMW motorcycle retailers, 104 MINI passenger car dealers, and 38 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company's Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines always-on digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 173,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.
About Honda's Commitment to the Environment
Honda is working toward its global goal of zero environmental impact by 2050 through its “Triple Action to Zero" approach, including achieving carbon neutrality for all products and corporate activities, 100% utilization of renewable energy, and resource circulation, utilizing 100% sustainable materials by reprocessing products back to raw materials and reusing those materials in the creation of new products. Toward this goal, Honda will strive to make battery-electric and fuel cell electric vehicles represent 100% of auto sales in the U.S. and globally by 2040.
To reduce the environmental impact of its business operations, Honda also is offsetting CO2 emissions from its North American manufacturing operations through long-term virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for renewable wind and solar power that seek to cover more than 60% of the electricity Honda uses in North America. Honda also promotes environmentally responsible business practices with its suppliers and retail dealer partners across North America. Learn more at https://csr.honda.com/environment/na-environmental-report/.