Smart Grid, which is part of OnStar’s interface, is an interface that detects when renewable energy is present in the electric grid. Smart Grid will then use the green energy to charge an electric vehicle rather than traditional power plant-driven electricity. Settings can even be set to charge during off-peak hours, when electricity is cheaper.
“Most electric vehicle owners are environmentally conscious, and this is one way we can support that lifestyle,” Russ Eling, manager of Smart Grid and EV services, told a small gathering of the press.
“We’re ready,” Eling said. “It’s really up to the utility companies now.”
General Motors has not set a release date for Smart Grid, and Eling was careful to point out that the public launch is merely contingent on General Motors’ marketing department and utility companies. All of the coding is complete.When it does release, Smart Grid will be available on all General Motors electric vehicles from 2012 onwards with OnStar capabilities. This includes the Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Spark, and Chevrolet Volt.
General Motors also announced that beginning in 2014, it would make its RemoteLink mobile app a free standard across the board, allowing users to check the status of their vehicle as well as control certain functions such as lights, ignition, and locks from anywhere in the world via satellite. General Motors also plans on launching its very own app shop in 2014 to complement Smart Grid and OnStar. Around 3,600 developers have started pitching ideas to General Motors, and the initial rollout will include popular apps such as Pandora, TuneIn, NPR, the Weather Channel, and Slacker Radio.
The L.A. Auto Show is on until Dec. 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.