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Customer Perks collaborate to help customers save on utility costs

Customer Perks Through Multi-Automaker Pilot Program BMW, Ford and General Motors collaborate to help customers save on utility costs, keep energy grid balanced

SACRAMENTO, CA (August 15, 2022)—Today, SMUD announced Managed Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Pilot, a new electric vehicle program with BMW of North America, Ford and General Motors. Managed EV Charging will make it easier for customers to switch to an EV. The pilot will help EV customers align their charging needs to the time of day when it is most affordable, which can also help keep the region’s energy grid stay in balance.

Building on earlier EV incentives, SMUD is now working with the three automakers to test how it can help Sacramento-area customers charge their electric vehicles at times of day that promote optimal energy load management. The pilot program supports SMUD’s goal to eliminate carbon emissions from the power supply by 2030 and accelerates the use of renewable energy for more sustainable communities.

“This pilot program and the lessons we’ll learn are important to help ensure that we chart a path forward that provides a seamless and easy customer experience while also balancing grid reliability and energy supply needs in a way that benefits all customers,” said Ed Hamzawi, the Director of Advanced Energy Solutions at SMUD. “We are thrilled to have GM, Ford and BMW as our partners for this project and look forward to our collaboration to further the growth and adoption of electric vehicles in a sustainable and equitable manner.”

Customers have already begun receiving communication from SMUD about the Managed EV Charging Pilot and its potential financial, sustainability and grid-supporting benefits. As part of the agreement, SMUD and participating automakers will allow for secure remote home charging management by conveniently integrating on-board communications and smart phone apps. Automakers will create customized charge requests for EV owners to provide an ideal charging schedule which can help ensure that a customer’s vehicle is ready when they need it and is charging at optimal times. Customers with EVs from participating automakers will receive incentives for enrolling, and quarterly incentives for participating in the pilot program.

“Our commitment to sustainability is the foundation to all aspects of our business,” said Christian Voigt, e-Mobility Strategy Manager, BMW of North America. “The collaboration with SMUD allows us to bring ChargeForward to more customers in California and to further incentivize the use of clean energy across the country. By participating in the smart charging program with SMUD, our customers play an active role in making the grid more reliable and more sustainable.”

“Championing our country’s transition to an EV lifestyle means making charging easy for customers while responsibly managing local energy supplies in the most sustainable way possible,” said Matt Stover, Director, Charging and Energy Services, Ford Motor Company. “By collaborating across the automotive industry and working with leading utilities like SMUD, Ford and others will help accelerate EV adoption in the greater Sacramento region and beyond, while helping electric vehicle drivers save costs associated with home charging.”

“As GM continues on its path towards a future with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion, we need to deliver charging solutions that provide a great customer experience, while supporting utility decarbonization goals and the needs of the grid,” says Ty Jagerson, V2X Lead, General Motors. “This pilot program represents an opportunity to explore the benefits of sustainable charging for both customers and our utility collaborators, and underscores GM’s commitment to an all-electric future and EVs for everyone.”

The pilot program is one of several initiatives that SMUD is working on as part of its sustainability vision to support Sacramento’s goal of getting 75,000 zero emission vehicles on the road by 2025. Smart charging efforts will be an essential element of the state’s executive order to end sales of internal combustion passenger vehicles by 2035.

Customers interested in learning more about SMUD’s pilot program can visit smud.org/DriveElectric or contact their local BMW, Ford or General Motors customer service channels.

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