Honda, Enel X to reward EV drivers for balancing grid

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Italian energy giant teams with Honda in US to offer EV drivers incentives to recharge during times of low electricity demand.

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Driver of the Fit EV will have the chance to be rewarded for smart charging choices. Source: Honda
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Honda Fit EV
Fit EV Drivers will have the chance to be rewarded for smart charging choices. Source: Honda

The trouble with keeping electricity prices stable (and relatively low) is inherently connected to demand for power, and one initiative is trialling ways to encourage drivers of electric vehicles to help balance demand on the electricity grid.

In a new electric vehicle charging program formulated by Enel X – a energy innovation-focused offshoot of Italian utility Enel – and Honda, US drivers of Honda’s Fit EV will have the opportunity to get bucks for their bang when they sign up to charge during times of low electricity demand.

The pilot scheme will kick off in Southern California, where Enel X will apply its grid balancing JuiceNet platform to a platform Honda is spearheading there.

Through the Honda SmartCharge program, Fit EV drivers will participate by downloading and signing up to the free HondaLink EV app.

They then create a profile and select their preferred charging times, encouraged by the app to delay or reschedule according to ideal times calculated by the intelligent, cloud-connected JuiceNet platform to balance the grid.

Section of a poster on Honda's SmartCharge page.
Section of a poster on Honda’s SmartCharge page.

The JuiceNet platform does this by monitoring electricity markets and optimising charging schedules to avoid energy demand spikes at the same time as finding the most affordable times to charge.

An additional bonus of the system is the ability to allow drivers to select charging times when there is the most renewable energy on the grid.

It’s not just the consumers that will win either, but also the energy providers, as the system has the potential to cut utility costs associated with peak power generation.

Once the drivers have completed a minimum of five charging sessions according to the optimised schedule, they will be rewarded with a $US50 signup reward.

Drivers may also receive additional rewards based on their participation in the programme over a two month period.

Initially being rolled out in Edison’s service territory in Southern California, the test programme will then be analysed with a view to include additional EV models and expand into other regions of California, where Enel X already has 7,300 charging stations.

Italian giant Enel has many irons in the fire when it comes to cutting edge energy technology – and all around the world. In Australia, the company’s Enel Green Power this week invested $1.6million in Perth-based Carnegie Clean Energy to encourage the development of clean wave power technology.

While the Honda Fit EV was originally slated for only 1,100 production vehicles per year back in 2013, the company recently stated it would partner with Chinese EV battery maker CATL to ramp up production again in 2020.

Honda has also promised to shift two-thirds of its global car sales to electric cars by 2030, so it’s promising to see the Japanese automaker is already thinking about how to make the impact of the shift to EV a positive one.

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6 Comments
  1. john 8 months ago

    As i see this say 10,000 EV owners sign up to gain some benefit.
    Each Ev has a potential 25 kWh of storage and lets say on average they have 20 Kwh at the time there is a demand.

    So we have 20 times 10,000 which is 200,000 Kwh of available power to deliver.
    Or in simple terms 200 mWh of power if I am correct.

    Now the bid price is like $100 mWh for power and these little 10,000 energy batteries can deliver for like $50 mWh so the little ones should win the bid.

    Not sure how it works there but logically the $50 beats the $100 however tell me why you should take the $100 bid.

    Actually in some systems the highest bid is taken for all; how stupid is that ask again how stupid is it that the highest bid is paid to every bidder??? or that is right that is what you get with a rigged system sorry i forgot about the rigged system part.

    • MaxG 8 months ago

      1,000kW = 1MW — you may want to change your m to M. (m = milli; M = Mega)

    • Catprog 8 months ago

      I think all this is doing is working out what time to provide the missing 50MWh to fully charge the batteries, and not remove the power.

      • Greg Hudson 8 months ago

        IMO no one needs to work out ‘when’ the power is cheapest (it is from 10am to 2pm) when all those solar panels are squirting out their power. Nor does anyone need to work out peak demand(s) 4pm-11pm plus 6am to 10am (approx). (I’m excluding wind from this).
        So, to benefit from this plan, you would need your car to be parked at home most of the time, while you catch the train to work…
        Notice also the article says people ‘MAY’ also be rewarded at a later date. Whenever I see MAY or COULD anywhere I’m always skeptical…

  2. MaxG 8 months ago

    I always find it interesting when a company offers me potential savings based on running their business on my investment. 😀

  3. Actually thoughtful 8 months ago

    What we need, much more than this, is bidirectional charging. Glad to see this, but we really do need to achieve complete solutions, and not these endless half-measures.

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