Earlier this week, we told you that the Chevrolet Volt didn’t pose a greater risk of fire than gas-powered cars. Now, General Motors is working to make the Volt more environmentally-friendly. Working with PJM Interconnection, a company that manages energy grids in 13 states and the District of Columbia, GM has developed software that manages the Volt’s charge time by matching the availability of renewable energy.
Using the Volt’s OnStar data connection, the software would regulate charging to take advantage of renewable energy. Edmunds reports that the software is still in testing, but that an added benefit for Volt owners is that they “would be notified about time-of-use energy pricing and be able to take advantage of lower rates.”
In a press release, Nick Pudar, OnStar vice president of planning and business development, says, “Solutions like this one will ultimately lead to increased renewable energy generation and allow Chevrolet Volt owners to be a key part of that energy transformation.” If the service is offered to the public, Volt owners would just need to sign up, at which point OnStar would regulate charging on PJM’s renewable energy signal. Additionally, GM says that a mobile app could be used to alert customers when renewable energy is available.
GM hasn’t announced when the renewable energy service would be available, but rival automakers are also exploring green energy alternatives in their cars. Consumer Reports says, “Ford Motors partnered with SunPower Corp. last August to offer subsidized home solar energy systems to future customers of its all-electric Ford Focus and other green vehicles.”
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