GM to pilot program using electric vehicles to power homes

General Motors is getting into the home charging business with a new pilot program that leverages the company's new electric vehicle designs as an energy source for keeping the lights on.

The Detroit automaker said Tuesday morning it will partner with Pacific Gas and Electric Company to test the feasibility of using GM-made vehicles to safely power the essential utilities inside a home. 

It wouldn't be the first time EV capabilities were used for the purpose of powering a home. Some owners of Ford's new electric truck models leveraged its power-sharing ability to warm homes during a power outage in Texas in 2021. 

GM's pilot program represents the latest utility that car companies hope to use as a selling point when putting electric vehicles on the market.

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"GM’s collaboration with PG&E further expands our electrification strategy, demonstrating our EVs as reliable mobile sources of power. Our teams are working to rapidly scale this pilot and bring bidirectional charging technology to our customers," said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra in a statement.

The pilot's first tests will begin in the summer of 2022 in California. Multiple GM EVs will be tested.

According to a release, the two companies will use bidirectional hardware and software that will allow power to move from a charged EV to a customer's home. It requires coordination between the vehicle, the home, and the utility company to be successful. 

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Field demonstrations will follow lab testing, with hopes the process becomes user-friendly. 

The companies hope that successful trials will allow the partnership to expand the power-sharing capability to more customers at the end of the year.