Honda launches EV smart charging trial

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Honda has begun trials of a system which will automatically charge electric vehicles based on drivers’ usage patterns and the real-time load on the electrical grid, while offering financial rewards for doing so.

Honda Fit EV

SmartCharge responds in real-time to changes in demand.

The SmartCharge system will be tested with Fit EV (an electric version of the Jazz, as it is called in Europe) customers in California, aiming to examine how it could be rolled out in other regions and applied to the forthcoming Clarity EV and Plug-in Hybrid.

It uses the car’s telematics system and the JuiceWerks grid-balancing software, which was developed by Italian utility company Enel X’s charging subsidiary, eMotorWerks. This, working with the HondaLink EV smartphone app, enables the car to automatically start charging when grid demand is low and energy supply from renewables it at its highest. Drivers are then given financial rewards for taking part.

The system can also receive real-time information from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which monitors the load on the grid to prevent blackouts. This means SmartCharge can respond to surges in demand in real-time, halting charging if drivers’ usage patterns allow.

Steve Center, vice president, connected and environmental business development for American Honda, said: “Honda SmartCharge is uniquely able to shift electric vehicle charging in real-time without impacting the customer. We believe the program will be a game changer with its ability to create new value for our customers, reduce demand on the grid during peak load times, and help contribute to our company’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions.”

 

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.