BMW Group, Ford Motor Co. and American Honda Motor Co. have entered into an agreement to create ChargeScape, LLC.
The equally owned company will create a single, cost-effective platform connecting electric utilities, automakers and interested electric vehicle customers.
The three automakers will leverage years of cross-industry research around the Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform to create a single platform that will connect electric utilities, automakers and their interested EV customers to manage energy usage for a broad pool of EVs.
The closing of the transaction and subsequent formation of ChargeScape is pending regulatory approvals, with the company expected to be operational early next year.
ChargeScape 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, Ford and 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.
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 chance to share the energy stored in their EV batteries with the grid during times of peak demand through vehicle-to-grid applications.
However, participating EV customers will always remain in control of their charging and energy decisions, per the companies.
The development of this project comes at a time when electric vehicle sales and infrastructure growth are ramping up. 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, per the companies.
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.
Honda is counting on this platform to create new value for 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,” Joseph says in a release.
The three founding members welcome other automakers to join in and unlock opportunities provided by ChargeScape’s grid service offerings once the company is fully operational.