Transportation is obviously job one for electric vehicles. But Ford is teaming with a technology company to look into expanding that job description.

The automaker announced it is working with Resideo Technologies on a “joint simulation project” to explore vehicle-to-home energy management.

The EV-Home Power Partnership is designed to explore the potential of EV batteries to support optimal home energy management. The companies said the project will explore, test and quantify the customer benefits of pairing bi-directional EV charging with a Resideo smart thermostat to help customers potentially save money on monthly electric bills, reduce strain on the U.S. electric grid and enable use of cleaner energy, while helping ensure homeowner comfort.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning already has the capability to power a home in the event of an outage through the available Intelligent Backup Power system. The EV Home Power Partnership project will simulate the integration of Resideo’s smart thermostats with the energy stored in the F-150 Lightning’s battery, which the companies said can be “smartly” coordinated to help power the home’s heating and cooling systems.

The project is designed to assess how coordination of a bi-directional EV and smart thermostat can reduce the overall energy needed by the home during times of electric grid stress while minimizing energy usage during the most expensive hours each day by automating the home to match a consumers’ time-of-use electricity rate.

The study will also assess how coordination between the battery and smart thermostat can enable a system to use cleaner energy from the grid if renewable energy is readily available.

“Driving electric is unlocking an entirely new world of personal energy management that could not only save our customers time and money, but also help support a more sustainable energy grid,” Ford head of global charging and energy services Bill Crider said.

“Successful vehicle-to-home energy management solutions would give Ford EV drivers as well as utilities and power companies the confidence to accelerate future vehicle-to-grid services never before thought possible with traditional vehicles.”

The companies said EV battery storage can play an integral role in helping stabilize the electric grid, allowing homeowners to remain comfortable during power outages or other energy events as well as saving money using stored energy during peak demand, when energy costs tend to be higher.

“The two largest contributors to an individual’s carbon-emission footprint are usually the car and the heating and cooling of the home,” Resideo executive vice president and chief revenue officer Dana Huth said. “With this EV Power Partnership project, we can discover new ways for F-150 Lightning owners to use their EV battery to power their home’s heating and cooling and to help build a home energy management strategy that can optimize their home’s comfort and energy use.”

Work on the project has begun and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2024.

Holman, ChargeHub collaborate to simplify EV fleet charging

Global automotive services company Holman has joined in a partnership with ChargeHub, developer of a network-independent community-driven EV charging app, designed to help commercial fleet operators simplify public charging for their electric vehicles.

The companies said the collaboration uses ChargeHub’s proprietary app to provide access to more than 80,000 charging locations throughout the U.S. and Canada while also processing payment, enhancing the public charging experience for drivers and streamlining the transition to EVs for fleet operators.

ChargeHub said its technology allows fleet operators and their drivers to access charging stations from a number of public charging networks through a single account, eliminating the need to manage multiple accounts for each individual network.

Through the collaboration with Holman, fleet operators can also monitor and track all charging costs in one centralized location, eliminating potential blind spots or gaps in information while easing the administrative burden.

“This is an exciting time for commercial fleets to use the ChargeHub application as their gateway to a growing but fragmented ecosystem of charging networks,” ChargeHub CEO Simon Ouellette said. “Our shared goal with Holman is to help fleet operators simplify and accelerate their transition to EVs through innovative technology designed to enhance the experience of driving an electric vehicle.”