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PG&E and BMW Group are taking the next step to supply electric vehicles with renewable energy and support network reliability

SAN FRANCISCO – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and BMW Group today announced an expansion of their partnership that will focus on smart electric vehicles using excess renewable energy to support grid reliability.

PG&E and the BMW Group are starting the third phase of their ChargeForward program. This new phase will expand the program to all BMW EV drivers in Northern and Central California who are PG&E residential electricity customers. Developed for a larger group of BMW EV drivers – around 3,000 EV drivers compared to 100 and 400 in phases one and two – in phase three of the pilot, further investigations are carried out into how incentives for drivers to postpone their EV charging times can help meet the requirements of the electric vehicle grid and use excess renewable energy that is available during the day. As part of this, PG&E will work with BMW to send signals to attendees encouraging them to charge at times that support the network.

Registration for the third phase of the ChargeForward program begins today. The program starts in mid-April and runs until March 2023.

PG&E and the BMW Group believe that vehicles could play a greater role in supporting the network in the future as new vehicle technologies are developed. Future electric vehicles may be able to discharge the vehicle battery to support the grid, extend functions beyond smart charging, and support customers and the grid in emergencies. To support this, PG&E and the BMW Group will work together in a laboratory to explore this potential by testing the vehicle-to-network functions. These efforts could help save bills for customers who drive electric vehicles and include testing the use of electric vehicle batteries for backup generation and other grid services.

What is smart charging?

With smart charging, electric vehicles act as a flexible grid resource to support the overall reliability of the power grid. Smart Charging focuses on shifting the charging of electric vehicles from times of high electricity demand to times when there is less demand and there is also more renewable energy on the grid, e.g. B. at lunchtime.

By answering inquiries about postponing charging times for electric vehicles, drivers support the power grid and use clean, renewable energies. In addition, using electric vehicles as a flexible network resource could ultimately result in cost savings associated with the operation and maintenance of the network, as well as for customers who own an electric vehicle.

“Our sustainability vision at the BMW Group aims to incorporate sustainability principles into all aspects of the customer experience – including the energy our vehicles consume. ChargeForward shows how our company’s digital technology can help customers use more renewable energy and reduce their energy bills, ”said Adam Langton, manager, energy services, Connected eMobility, BMW of North America. “ChargeForward is part of the BMW Group’s commitment to offer our customers charging solutions that are convenient, reliable and sustainable.”

“The more than 320,000 electric vehicles connected to PG & E’s power grid provide a unique resource that will help build our future of clean energy in California. As the acceptance of electric vehicles continues to grow, the potential for these clean vehicles as a flexible network resource is gaining in importance. Our ongoing collaboration with BMW has allowed us to explore and demonstrate future opportunities to scale the smart charging capabilities of this growing grid support resource, ”said Quinn Nakayama, director of integrated grid planning and innovation at PG&E.

Participation in the BMW ChargeForward Phase Three program

BMW expects around 3,000 BMW EV drivers in the PG&E service area to take part in this pilot phase. Interested consumers can submit an application from today at BMW hopes to be able to expand the availability of the program to electrified MINI customers in the near future.

Using BMW ConnectedDrive, which enables connectivity between cars, drivers and their surroundings, and a customized BMW ChargeForward smartphone app, participating BMW drivers can deactivate any intelligent charging request based on their driving behavior and personal preferences. When a customer allows their vehicle to be smartly charged, vehicle charging is postponed to meet grid requirements.

Participating BMW EV drivers will receive smart charging incentives, including $ 150 upon registration and up to $ 250 per year if they follow ChargeForward’s recommendations. The total amount earned over the two years depends on individual participation in fee events. During the spring and autumn months, program participants were able to receive incentives that offset the entire cost of charging their vehicle by charging 750 miles per month with clean electricity for free due to the ChargeForward incentives and connecting them to the grid when renewable energies are highly available are.

BMW and PG&E ChargeForward Partnership

ChargeForward was launched in 2015 to test the ability of electric vehicles to support the grid and provide benefits to customers through vehicle grid integration applications that enable intelligent charging and demand response. The second phase focused on optimizing charging with renewable energies. Initial tests on optimizations for renewable energies showed that the participants paid on average more than 55% of the fees for renewable energies, more than double the national average at the time.

The highlights of the ChargeForward phase two pilot include:

  • Over 1 million miles were powered by 100% renewable energy within a year.

  • According to research from the University of California Berkeley, smart charging electric vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of another 32% in Northern California.

  • Thanks to intelligent charging in conjunction with broad access to the charging infrastructure at the workplace, plug-in electric vehicles can more than double their consumption of renewable energies. and

  • A plug-in hybrid with intelligent charging can integrate more renewable energy than a normally rechargeable electric vehicle with a full battery, despite the smaller battery size.

The results of the pilots’ previous phases can be found here: phase one and phase two.

Forward-looking statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are not historical facts, including statements regarding the beliefs, expectations, estimates, future plans and strategies of PG&E, including, but not limited to, the ChargeForward program and the use of electric vehicles as a flexible network resource. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that management believes to be reasonable and on information currently available to management, but are necessarily subject to various risks and uncertainties. In addition to the risk that these assumptions prove to be inaccurate, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements could include factors identified in PG&E Corporation and the joint annual report of PG&E stated on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and other reports filed with the SEC are available on the PG&E Corporation website at and on the SEC’s website at www are available. PG&E Corporation and PG&E undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, or for any other reason, except as required by law.

About PG & E.

PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is a combined natural gas and electricity utility serving more than 16 million people in 70,000 square kilometers of northern and central California. Visit and for more information.


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