General Motors has poured billions of dollars into the company’s Ultium battery technology, which is central to ambitious plans to develop a broad portfolio of electric vehicles.
But the company plans to use the Ultium battery beyond the core vehicle portfolio, which should be available by the fall of 2023, adding to the company’s stream of subscription revenue.
GM said it expects to create what it describes as an “ecosystem” of energy management products and services that will be housed under a new business unit call GM Energy, which will include an Ultium Home and Ultium Commercial as well as the existing Ultium Charge 360.
Use Ultium batteries to bolster grid
“The reliability of the U.S. 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,” he said.
GM has already lined up partners for its new initiatives. SunPower, one of the nation’s leading solar technology and energy services providers, will help GM 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 to enable drivers to deliver power to their homes with the battery in their compatible electric vehicle, for 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, offering 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 Q3 2023.
Several initiatives planned
GM Energy is also working with several other companies such as Con Edison, Graniterock and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative to help deliver energy solutions to customers, while also helping to inform and advance future GM Energy offerings.
Another initiative includes a vehicle-to-home pilot project between GM Energy and Pacific Gas and Electric Co. 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 some residential customers within PG&E’s service area, beginning sometime next year.
GM Energy’s plans, however, go beyond using an EV as a home generator.
They also include providing cohesive energy management for home, commercial and EV customers, with solutions ranging from bi-directional charging, vehicle-to-grid applications, to stationary storage, solar products, software applications, cloud management tools, microgrid solutions and hydrogen fuel cells.
Delivering big power for big needs
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 central interface will be GM’s Energy Services Cloud, which will house data and energy management tools, connecting customers with residential, fleet and commercial energy assets.
The interface also will allow customers to 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 U.S. states and growing.
As part of GM Energy, Ultium Charge 360 will continue to expand its existing portfolio of integrated public charging networks, integrated mobile apps, and additional product and service offerings over time.
“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,” according to Mark Bole, vice president and head of V2X Battery Solutions at GM.
“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,” Bole said.
One response to “GM Launches New Battery-Based Energy Company”
Unlike GM to admit Ford had a better idea. See, that wasn’t hard; it only hurts a little while.