GM and OnStar Launch EV Efficiency Research Program

General Motors and its OnStar division are teaming up to monitor real world charging and driving among EV motorists in a unique residential setting known as Pecan Street.

Part of a 700-acre development in Austin, Texas, known as the Muller community, Pecan Street inhabitants are volunteers who offered to be part of a sustainable residential project, living in houses designed to be the last word in efficiency, sporting features such as rooftop mounted solar collectors.

Last year, Chevrolet provided 100 residents of Pecan Street with assistance in acquiring Chevrolet Volts to drive, while other companies, such as Intel, Oncor, Sony and Whirlpool are also providing smart grid and clean energy appliances and equipment for the homes involved in the experiment.

As for the Volts, the Pecan Street program Q&A page says, “For residents who purchase a Chevrolet Volt, Pecan Street will provide a rebate of $7,500,” and, “For residents who lease a Chevrolet Volt for three years or more, Pecan Street will provide a rebate of $3,000.”

The Volts represent the largest concentration of EVs in a single location in the U.S., and researchers are therefore eager to see how the families operating these cars interact with the smart grid and other sustainable technologies within their homes on a daily basis.

By partnering with each other on the project, GM (and Chevrolet) and OnStar will enable on-site researchers from the automaker and others from the Environmental Defense Fund, National Renewal Energy Laboratory and University of Texas to study the impact the Volts have on home energy consumption as well as monitoring the habits of vehicle usage and charging among residents of Pecan Street.

According to Nick Pudar; OnStar’s vice president of Strategy and Business Development, the partnership with GM “provides us with a unique opportunity to observe charging details with many real customers in a concentrated setting,” as well as discovering “the direct impact the Volt has on the grid and how to get drivers the lowest-possible charging rates.” He also said “[this] project will also help us develop future capabilities of the Volt and other plug-in electric vehicles.”

One of the first tests slated for the GM/OnStar research program, will be to marry data gathered from home consumption with the Volt’s vehicle consumption in order to optimize entire home energy costs for each household. “We’re excited to leverage our Smart Grid APIs with other partners in this project,” Pudar said.

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  • lytton

    Spam removed. Please do not post off-topic links to other sites here.

    -The Editor.

  • Jeff

    Neat that they are doing this type of data collection and analysis. I have wondered why it was not already being collected by all the manufacturers to help optimize engine control programming.

    As for the community I wish they would put this type of effort into testing in harsh climates like Alaska where energy costs are high and the environment is extreme. Kind of a waste of effort to test in a sunny warm climate.

  • silvia

    i very liked your post and i will read all your post in the futur. silvia

  • silva

    Gm is the best constructor cars long life the GM

  • meubles

    Very liked the post is very interesting il love GM meubles