IBM has partnered with American Honda Motor Co and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) on a new pilot project to enable communication between electric vehicles (EVs) and the power grid.

The project will demonstrate and test an EV’s ability to receive and respond to charge instructions based on the grid condition and the vehicle’s battery state.

The demonstration combines grid and vehicle data to create an individualized charging plan for Honda’s Fit EV battery electric vehicles, using IBM’s cloud based software platform.

PG&E senior director for consumer products Saul Zambrano said the pilot project with IBM and Honda will help the company demonstrate that third-party providers have the systems and capabilities to help meet some of the challenges that EVs could place on the power grid as their adoption increases in the coming years.

"With updated charging patterns for EVs, we have the ability if needed, to shift demand to non-peak times to ensure the reliability of the grid so that we can continue to deliver safe, reliable and affordable energy to our customers," Zambrano said.

Once plugged into a charge post, the Honda Fit EV initiates a charge request via the vehicles telematics system to IBM’s electric vehicle enablement platform where vehicle data such as battery state and grid data received from PG&E, is combined to create an optimized charge schedule, which is then communicated back to the vehicle in seconds.

Using this aggregated data, the vehicle has the intelligence to charge to the level that is needed while factoring any current grid constraints.

Additionally, the IBM EV platform can collate historical EV charging data and create a profile that can be used to forecast the location and duration of EV charge loads.