California Utility extends two-way EV charging pilots.

California Utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is expanding public testing of two-way EV charging, including three new pilot programs involving up to 1,000 residential electricity customers and hundreds of commercial customers.

Each program will provide incentives for customers to participate, including “additional benefits” for disadvantaged communities, PG&E said in a press release. All three programs are expected to begin in 2022 or 2023 and will continue until incentives are exhausted, the utility said.

A program for residential customers will be open to 1,000 EV drivers, including single-family homes. They will receive a minimum of $ 2,500 to register and an additional 2,175 depending on their participation, PG&E said.

Hyundai Home

Hyundai Home

The utility will operate a pilot for business customers with up to 200 slots. Participating businesses will also receive a minimum of $ 2,500 to register, but up to $ 3,625 depending on their participation.

Finally, let’s see how well a “microgrid” pilot can provide backup power to EVs during disruptions. It will initially focus on medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, but may also include light-duty vehicles, PG&E noted. 200 participants will receive a minimum of $ 2,500 for registration and up to $ 3,750 thereafter.

Apart from studying these pilot programs, PG&E is already running with Ford and, on a more limited basis, with General Motors.

Electric Island - Daimler Truck North America and PGE - Portland or

Electric Island – Daimler Truck North America and PGE – Portland or

The interest in two-way charging is growing, and it is partly related to the solar interest. The concept has been debated for years, but the lack of two-way charging production vehicles has become a stumbling block. That started to change, though.

The e-GMP platform that underpins the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 includes two-way charging. Volkswagen plans to offer its mass-market EV, similar to ID.4, starting in 2022.

In California, heat waves and fires have encouraged rapid action to study EV charging practices and potentially use EV fleets to help stabilize the grid. But two-way charging is being studied at the national level by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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