BMW, Ford and Honda form JV for charging & energy services


BMW, Ford and Honda are joining forces in North America to form a joint venture called ChargeScape. This is intended to create a low-cost platform that connects energy providers with carmakers and their electric car customers in the USA and Canada.

The joint venture will be owned equally by the three automakers, with one-third each. The three OEMs did not disclose any details about the financing. The goal of the joint venture is “to unlock the full potential of electric vehicle (EV) technology through conveniently managed energy services never before possible with gasoline-powered vehicles – benefiting EV customers, electric utilities and automakers,” according to the shareholders’ communications. ChargeScape is expected to begin operations in early 2024 after receiving regulatory approvals and being incorporated. Other car manufacturers are invited to join the joint venture, according to the initiating trio.

The basis of the now-planned platform is the “years of cross-industry research around the Open Vehicle-Grid Integration Platform (OVGIP)”, in which BMW, Ford and Honda, among others, were involved. The new solution is intended to make the previous bilateral agreements between car brands and electricity suppliers superfluous. Through ChargeScape, the initiators promise electricity suppliers access to battery energy via a broad pool of electric cars and car customers financial advantages through charging at “grid-friendly” times.

In addition to V1G, also known as smart charging, the new platform also aims to coordinate V2G services in the future: “ChargeScape aims to provide energy management services to support the stability of the power grid, while also looking into the future of V2G features that will benefit both EV customers and electricity suppliers.”

Thomas Ruemenapp, Vice President of Engineering, BMW of North America, emphasises that grid reliability and sustainability are the foundation for an electric vehicle future. “ChargeScape aims to accelerate the expansion of smart charging and vehicle-to-everything solutions all over the country, while increasing customer benefits, supporting the stability of the grid and helping to maximize renewable energy usage. We’re proud to be a founding member of ChargeScape and are looking forward to the opportunities this collaboration will create.”

Bill Crider, Global Head of Charging and Energy Services, Ford Motor Company, points out that electric vehicles open up entirely new benefits to customers, saving them money while promoting grid stability and the use of clean, renewable energy. “ChargeScape will help accelerate the true potential of the EV revolution by providing significant benefits to both utilities and EV customers through smart vehicle-to-grid services.”

“As Honda seeks to achieve our global goal of carbon neutrality, we are counting on this platform to create new value for our customers by connecting EVs to electric utilities, strengthening grid resources and reducing CO2 emissions,” added Jay Joseph, Vice President of Sustainability & Business Development, American Honda Motor Co.

BMW and Honda are also part of a consortium of seven automakers to build their own HPC charging network for North America.


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