BMW and PG&E think electric vehicles could stabilize California grid – Justine Calma

EV smart charging
BMW and PG&E are partnering to find out if electric vehicles can support California’s struggling grid.  | Image: BMW

As blackouts become more common during California’s fire season, utility PG&E is looking to electric vehicles as one potential backup plan for the state’s stressed-out grid. It’s been working with carmaker BMW to test whether electric vehicles could provide power when there’s an outage or not enough energy to meet demand.

Theoretically, a network of EV batteries could one day provide a backup source of energy for communities called a “virtual power plant.” But first, automakers and utilities will need to see if it’s worth it to work with each other. Then, they’ll need to get their customers on board, too. BMW and PG&E’s partnership is a sort of test run for that.

The two companies started working together in 2015. Until now, the pair…

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