Honda SmartChargeTM beta program helps electric vehicle drivers save money and reduce environmental footprint
By: +David Herron; Date: July 31, 2018
The most obvious time to recharge an electric car, immediately upon arriving home from work, is not the best for the grid. In the early evening is when the "duck curve" dictates a need to steeply ramp up fossil fuel electricity production because the sun is setting lessening solar power. It's necessary to instead orchestrate electricity demand, like electric car charging, to occur later at night when demand is lower and the grid has excess power.
Honda has struck a deal with eMotorWerks (a subsidiary of ENEL) to integrate eMotorWerks' JuiceNet platform, using that service to orchestrate the best timing of electric car charging. The eMotorWerks system taps pricing information from electricity grid operators to optimize electric car charging.
The current deal is to implement a beta program among Honda Fit EV "owners" to study optimum timing for electric car charging.
- App finds best time to charge electric vehicles, adjusting to electric grid conditions to reduce customer costs and CO2 emissions
- Participating drivers can earn monetary rewards
- Honda SmartChargeTM beta rolls out to Honda Fit EV customers, possible expansion to other vehicles
- Video of Honda SmartChargeTM available at https://honda.us/SmartCharge
With plans to make two-thirds of its global automobile sales from electrified vehicles by 2030, Honda is introducing a new Honda SmartChargeTM beta program that allows electric vehicle customers to reduce the environmental footprint of charging their car while earning monetary rewards. Honda is the first automaker to introduce a program of this kind, and will roll out the program to Honda Fit EV customers.
Electric vehicle customers typically plug in and charge their vehicles when they arrive home after work, but this early evening charge time is often when demand on the grid is highest and when electricity is the most expensive. Honda SmartChargeTMpermits Fit EV customers to charge when electricity demand is low and when the availability of renewable energy is high.
Using the vehicle telematics system and Enel X subsidiary eMotorWerks' JuiceNet software platform, Honda SmartChargeTMcomputes the best time to charge a vehicle from the electric grid, dynamically taking into account the driver's daily schedule, the amount of renewable energy being generated, and the amount of CO2 emitted from power plants on the grid. By recording the customer's desired charging times, the system enables the vehicle to be fully charged when the customer needs it next without impacting their use of the vehicle. As the Demand Response Provider (DRP) for Honda SmartChargeTM, eMotorWerks interfaces with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to allow for real-time control via cloud to cloud communication, enabling EVs to participate in demand response events to support the grid.
“Honda SmartChargeTM is uniquely able to shift electric vehicle charging in real-time without impacting the customer,” said Steve Center, vice president, Connected and Environmental Business Development for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “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.”
Honda will study the results of the beta program among Fit EV customers, with an eye toward applying it to other electrified vehicles, including the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. The Honda SmartChargeTM program is available on Apple devices for select California customers, with plans to expand to other areas in the near future.
Earn Rewards and Help Save the Planet
To participate in the Honda SmartChargeTM beta program, Fit EV owners can download the free HondaLink EV app, create a profile, and select preferred charging times. The Honda SmartChargeTM app's algorithms use pricing signals from the electric grid to determine optimal grid periods within customers' preferred charging times. With the Honda SmartChargeTM app, Fit EV drivers are able to monitor their charging progress and receive push notifications to remind them to plug in. The app also offers a scorecard feature that tracks rewards earned, CO2 saved, and other stats related to customers' participation in the program.
After receiving utility approval from eMotorWerks and completing five charging sessions, the customer earns a monetary sign-up reward. Additional rewards will be calculated based on a customer's participation rate over each two-month period. To learn more about Honda SmartChargeTM, visit smartcharge.honda.com.
Honda's Commitment to the Environment
Based on its vision of "Blue Skies for our Children," Honda is working to advance technologies that address society's environmental and energy concerns. Honda is targeting a 50 percent reduction in its total company CO2 emissions on a global basis by 2050, compared to the year 2000. To help reach this goal and advance the company toward its vision of creating a carbon-free society, Honda is implementing renewable energy projects throughout its operations.
The company intends for electrified vehicles to comprise two-thirds of its global automobile sales by 2030. In North America, the Honda Electrification Initiative will see Honda's electrified powertrain technologies applied to an expanding portfolio of cars and light trucks in the years ahead. Honda's electrified vehicle lineup today includes the Clarity series of vehicles, featuring fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains, along with the new Accord Hybrid and Honda Insight.
Honda is working to reduce the environmental impact of its products throughout their life cycle, including reducing waste, emissions and further improving the energy efficiency of producing, distributing and selling Honda and Acura products in North America. This includes a 93 percent reduction in waste sent to landfills from Honda plants in North America.
Through its "green purchasing" and "green dealer" initiatives, the company also is working to promote more environmentally responsible business practices with its more than 650 original equipment suppliers and 1,300 retail dealer partners.