General Motors has announced a new business unit to expand outside of its current portfolio of EVs and charging network. The new energy management services business is called GM Energy and will consist of Ultium Home and Ultium Commercial, in combination with the previously existing Ultium Charge 360.
As one of the world’s largest automakers, GM has used 2022 to truly lean into the apex of electrification to not only stay competitive, but to eventually become the industry leader. CEO Mary Barra has repeatedly shared GM’s intentions to dethrone longtime EV sales leader Tesla by mid-decade.
As part of its strategy, GM has promised 30 new EVs by 2025, including a commitment of $7 billion to bolster its annual production capacity to 1 million units in the same time frame. Recently, the automaker has breathed new life into its Chevy Bolt EV and EUVs following a tumultuous recall in 2021. GMC Hummer EV deliveries continue to speed up and are joined by the all-electric Cadillac Lyriq. The automaker also has plenty of other EVs in its pipeline like a Chevy Silverado EV and 2024 Chevy Blazer EV.
To support the influx of new all-electric models, GM has also been expanding its Ultium Charge 360 network, which will be joined by a new network of coast-to-coast DC fast chargers across 500 Pilot and Flying J travel stations.
Today, we have learned that the Ultium Charge 360 network will exist under a new business unit called GM Energy, which will also include holistic energy management solutions for both homes and businesses.
GM Energy looks to eventually offer vehicle-to-grid capabilities
Details of GM’s new energy management business unit emerged via press release early this morning, outlining some of the technology the American automaker intends to offer both passenger and commercial EV customers.
According to the automaker, GM Energy’s connected product and service offering will eventually offer the following applications for EV owners and their homes or businesses:
- Bi-directional charging
- Vehicle-to-home (V2H) capabilities
- Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) capabilities
- Stationary energy storage
- Solar products
- Software applications and cloud management tools
- Microgrid solutions
- Hydrogen fuel cells
Much of the technology mentioned above will become available to consumers through Ultium Home – the residential-focused arm of GM Energy. Similar to competitors like Tesla and Ford, GM will soon offer stationary storage that can connect an EV to a driver’s home, solar technology, and the grid into one holistic system.
In a call with media, GM shared that it has already been piloting V2H applications with PG&E in California, allowing for bi-directional charging and the ability to power a home using energy stored in an EV during blackouts or other outages. Following initial tests, both companies intend to expand to a subset of PG&E residential customers in 2023.
GM is also touting other applications such as vehicle-to-grid capabilities, but explained that more complicated implementation processes like that will come at a later date to be determined.
Other energy companies working with GM Energy include Con Edison, Graniterock, and New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NEHC). GM’s vice president of EV growth operations Travis Hester spoke to the potential of GM Energy going forward and what it means for current and future EV owners:
GM Energy has the opportunity to help deliver sustainable energy products and services that can help mitigate the effect of power outages and provide customers with resilient and cost-effective energy management. GM Energy’s mission is to offer customers access to a full suite of energy products and services, including solutions beyond the vehicle, accelerating the seamless transition to an all-electric future. With the expansion of our enterprise business through GM Energy and one of the most comprehensive portfolios of energy management products and services available, we will help to reduce the barriers of entry for sustainable power and further accelerate the mass adoption of EVs.
Another important company in the expansion of GM Energy’s new lineup of energy management solutions is solar technology specialist SunPower, who has signed an agreement with GM to help develop the home energy systems that can and will combine solar and stationary power into one cohesive unit. SunPower has also signed on as the preferred installer of the home energy systems and will offer solar add-ons to GM Energy customers.
The home energy system is expected to launch alongside the upcoming Chevy Silverado EV, which is currently slotted for production in the fall of 2023. The GM team shared that it expects all of its new Ultium Home and Commercial products to enter production in Q4 of 2023.
Ultium Commercial services is available to businesses now, opening a new window of opportunity for GM Energy to step in as a hardware and software provider, but also as a strategic advisor to businesses to help set up the necessary energy infrastructure necessary for all-electric fleets.
Lastly, the automaker shared that as a part of GM Energy, Ultium Charge 360 will continue to expand its public charging network and offer new products and services of its own over time.
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