Plugging your car into a Smarter Utility Grid

With the Detroit Auto Show 08 running this week, the BBC has been enthusiastically reporting on the future of the auto. With gas prices hitting $100/Barrel and a greater focus on the environment, greener cars are taking a front stage unlike in the past when they found it difficult to platform their inventions amongst all the steel and chrome.

An interesting discussion caught my attention on how PG&E (Northern California’s Utility) and Google and working on a prototype for an Smart Electric Grid. The grid would charge your Hybrid during the off-peak time allowing you car would give electricity back to the power company. How would this work?
  1. If you participate in the program, PG&E’s technology would know when you plugged in your car for recharging – whether at home, work or elsewhere.
  2. When electricity demand surges, the grid would tap the car’s battery to avoid having to bring power from non-renewable sources online
  3. The smart grid, will communicate with sensors embedded in your washing machines, air conditioners and other household appliances to allow power to be distributed where it is needed most
  4. Auto companies are working on a Hybrid car that would be fully electric for the first 50 miles – this would ensure that most of our daily commute would be clean and green .. Furthermore future Hybrids will give up to 75 miles on the gallon … šŸ™‚

A smart power grid would seamlessly allow utilities to shift the balance of energy from hydrocarbons to cleaner forms of energy. This, coupled with greater consumer education is a step in the right direction as it effectively addresses the sources of our energy dilemma.

Tip: Look for an amalgamation of the Auto Industry and the Utility Companies as there is more innovation in this arena.

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