Cadillac ELR smart grid ready off the production line

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The new Cadillac ELR due to launch in the U.S. in January 2014 will come off the production line smart grid ready with extended range electric vehicle (EREV) technology combined with OnStar’s cloud-based RemoteLink mobile app for grid communication.

The RemoteLink mobile app, which creates a secure connection between a mobile device and OnStar-equipped vehicle, offers a range of services, including enabling drivers to check their vehicle’s current state of charge, electric range and electric miles driven. Drivers may check the vehicle’s operating systems and send remote commands, and they can control and schedule vehicle charging, including an option to charge during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lowest.

“While RemoteLink is really our first smart grid service to be available for consumers, the same connection we use to enable the app’s EV functions can be used to open the door for more energy cost and load control benefits,” said Russ Eling, manager, Smart Grid and EV Services at General Motors.

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OnStar has four smart grid APIs (application programming interfaces) that utilities and third party companies can work with to develop real world solutions for the ELR:

  • Demand response – this future service connects utilities to companies that have intelligent energy management products, allowing OnStar to manage energy use for ELR customers who opt-in for the service.
  • Time-of-use rates – OnStar can receive dynamic time-of-use pricing from utilities and notify ELR owners of the rate plan offers via email. Owners would be able to use OnStar to load the rate plans directly into their vehicle and access them to schedule charging during lower rate periods.
  • Charging data – OnStar can send and receive EV data including location-based EV data that identifies charging locations and determines potential load scenarios.
  • Aggregated services – this solution allows electric service providers to manage the charging of participating vehicles in a given geographic area, with customer consent. This includes the ability to control charging on a large amount of EVs simultaneously.

ELR owners will also get access to other OnStar services, including turn-by-turn navigation, hands-free calling, vehicle diagnostics, automatic crash response and stolen vehicle assistance.

The EREV technology combines pure electric drive and an efficient 1.4 l gasoline-powered electric generator capable of 154 kW (207 hp) of total system power to offer a full driving range exceeding 300 miles. This is further enhanced with Regen on Demand, which allows the driver to temporarily regenerate energy from the ELR’s momentum into electricity that can be stored in the battery pack for later use, and selectable drive modes aimed to enhance driving and make the most of efficiency.